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Get To Know Anita Ward: Family, Songs And Albums

 

 

Anita Ward, a rhythm and blues singer, was born on December 20, 1956, in Memphis, Tennessee, to James L. Ward and Juanita Ward. Cassandra Ward Hibbler, Michael Ward, Entrée Ward, and James L. Ward, Jr. were Anita’s four siblings. Ward began singing in church at a young age. She graduated from Fairley High School in Memphis and Rust College in Holly Springs, Mississippi, with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology in 1978. She was an active member of Rust’s Acapella choir and received classical and gospel music training during her time there. Ward spent four months as a substitute teacher in the Memphis Public School system in 1978.

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Ward is best known for her 1979 Disco hit “Ring My Bell,” which appeared on her debut album Songs of Love on the Juana Records label. The song peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, R&B, and Dance charts, as well as in the United Kingdom. It sold more than a million copies worldwide. Ward later released the album Sweet Surrender, which included “Don’t Drop My Love,” which peaked at number 52 R&B and number 87 on the Billboard Hot 100.

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Following the success of “Ring My Bell,” Ward’s manager, Chuck Holmes, an administrator at Rust, organized an international tour in 1980. She debuted on NBC TV’s “The Midnight Special,” a Friday night Pop-Rock variety show. Ward’s most memorable performance was at the Repblica Del Distrito Club Polanco in Mexico City, Mexico, in 1981, of all the global sites and locations.

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Ward released the album Wherever There’s Love in 1989. Ring My Bell” was rereleased a year later, in 1990, and reached number 99 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Ward hosted the 95th Annual New Year’s Eve Celebration on Times Square in 2002, and she was featured to sing “Ring My Bell” as the ball dropped. Years later, in 2005, Ward was invited to the New Year’s Eve celebration attraction at Beale Street and B.B. King Boulevard in Memphis, Tennessee, where she sang “Ring My Bell.” She performed the song again in 2006 at the Fédération Internationale de Ski (FIS) World Cup slalom race in Zagreb, Croatia.

Ward released “It’s My Night” from the album of the same name in 2011. The song failed to chart.

Anita Ward retired from touring but continued to perform on occasion, such as at the 2016 International Gala at the historic Peabody Hotel in Memphis. She was inducted into the National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame for Entertainment in 2019.

Anita Ward is married to Stephen R. Richardson, with whom she has a daughter.

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Written by How Africa News

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