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Hayley Williams

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This article is about the American singer. For the British actress, see Hayley J Williams.
Hayley Williams
Oklahoma City - Hayley Williams 001.jpg
Williams performing as part of Paramore on Monumentour in 2014.
Born Hayley Nichole Williams
(1988-12-27) December 27, 1988 (age 28)
Meridian, Mississippi, U.S.
Occupation Singer-songwriter, musician
Years active 2003–present
Home town Franklin, Tennessee, U.S.
Spouse(s) Chad Gilbert (m. 2016)
Musical career
  • Vocals
  • bass
  • keyboards
  • guitar
  • drums
Labels Atlantic, Fueled by Ramen[1]
Associated acts

Hayley Nichole Williams[2][3] (born December 27, 1988)[4] is an American singer and songwriter. She serves as the lead vocalist, occasional keyboardist and primary songwriter of the rock band Paramore.[2][5]

Early life[edit]

Hayley Williams was born to Joey and Cristi Williams, in Meridian, Mississippi. She has two younger half sisters.[6][7] As a result of her parents divorcing in 2002, Williams moved to Franklin, Tennessee.[8][9] She met former band members Josh and Zac Farro in her new school.[5][10] While still at school she tried out for a local funk cover band, The Factory, where she met Jeremy Davis.[10][11]

Music career[edit]

Williams was discovered in 2003 by managers Dave Steunebrink and Richard Williams, who signed the 14-year-old to a two-year production deal.[12] At the time she was writing pop songs with songwriters in Nashville.[12] Williams was introduced to Atlantic Records A&R Tom Storms through Richard Williams' attorneys Jim Zumwalt and Kent Marcus, and then signed to the label by Jason Flom. The label's original plan for their new artist was to make her a solo pop artist but Williams objected to this, saying that she wanted to be part of a band and play pop punk music.

Paramore on the 2010 Honda Civic Tour

Atlantic decided to go along with her wishes, and she then formed Paramore with Josh Farro, Zac Farro, and Jeremy Davis.[12] The music of Paramore was originally supposed to come out on Atlantic Records, but the label's marketing department decided it would be better for the image of the band to not have them attached to a huge label. They instead released their music through a "cooler" niche label, Fueled by Ramen.[12] The band's debut album, All We Know Is Falling, was released in 2005 when Hayley was only 16 years old. Paramore has since released three more studio albums, Riot! (2007), Brand New Eyes (2009), and the self-titled Paramore (2013). In June 2009, the band welcomed Taylor York (rhythm guitar) as an official member, although he had already been playing as a touring member with the band since 2007. In December 2010, two of the founding members of Paramore (Josh and Zac Farro) left the band. The news was posted by Williams on Paramore's web site, with Josh later posting a controversial blog post confirming their departure.

In 2007, she and the rest of Paramore made an appearance in the music video for "Kiss Me" by New Found Glory.[13]

In the 2007 Kerrang! Readers' Poll, she finished second to Evanescence's Amy Lee in the "Sexiest Female" category,[14] going on to win the first place spot for "Sexiest Female" a year later in the 2008 poll,[15] and again in the 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 poll. She also appears as a playable character in the video game Guitar Hero World Tour after completing "Misery Business" in the vocalist campaign.

Williams wrote and recorded the song "Teenagers", which was featured in the soundtrack for the feature film Jennifer's Body. After the release of "Teenagers", Williams stated that she had no plans to establish herself as a solo artist.[16] In 2010, she appeared on the tracks "Airplanes" and "Airplanes, Part II" from alternative rapper B.o.B's debut album, B.o.B Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray.[17] When it was released as a single, "Airplanes" peaked within the top ten in nineteen countries, including the number one position in the United Kingdom and New Zealand.

Williams performing at Rock im Park in Nuremberg, Germany, in 2013

In 2006, Paramore toured outside of the US for the first time, which included a headline tour of the UK and supporting post-hardcore rock band The Blackout on the Give It A Name Festival in Europe.

EDM producer Zedd and Williams collaborated on the track "Stay the Night", from his debut studio album, Clarity,[18] which was released in 2013. Williams was honored with the "Trailblazer Award" in the 2014 Billboard's Women in Music Awards for making a unique mark in music and paving the way for other artists.[19] In 2015, Williams starred as the 'Crimson Curse' in Taylor Swift's music video for her single, "Bad Blood", alongside sixteen other celebrities.[20]

Along with band member and co-writer Taylor York, Williams was nominated for and won the Grammy Award for Best Rock Song at the 2015 ceremony for the song Ain't It Fun.[21]

In July 2015, Williams won the APMA for Best Vocalist.[22]


Williams possesses a four octave light-lyric soprano vocal range.[23] Alternative Press states that Williams "has more charisma than singers twice her age, and her band aren't far behind in their chops, either."[24] Singer-songwriter John Mayer had praised Williams' voice in a blog in October 2007, calling her "The great orange hope"; "orange" in reference to her hair color.[25]

Public image[edit]

In March 2013, Williams announced she was partnering with MAC Cosmetics for the release of a new makeup collection on April 9, 2013.[26] The four-piece collection included a bright orange lipstick, an orange nail polish, a shimmery coral eye shadow and a beauty powder.[27] Later that year Hayley appeared on the April cover of Nylon magazine to promote Paramore's self-titled album.[28]

In October of that year, Williams partnered with the Hard Rock Café's PINKTOBER charity campaign to raise awareness and funding for breast cancer and its research.[29]

In 2015, she launched the online beauty and music series "Kiss-Off" on Popular TV.[30]

In 2016, after over four years of planning, Williams launched her own hair dye company, Good Dye Young.[31][32] The colors offered by the company include an orange, Riot!; a pink, Ex-Girl; a blue, Blue Ruin; a yellow, Steal My Sunshine; and a red, Rock Lobster.[33]

Personal life[edit]

Williams is a Christian and regularly discusses her faith in relation to her music, but has been critical of the judgmental nature of some in the Christian community. The Farro brothers cited differing attitudes on faith as contributing to their exit from Paramore.[34][35]

On May 28, 2010 Williams was involved in a scandal in which a topless photo of her was posted on her Twitter account. The photo was taken down within minutes. Williams addressed the situation via Twitter stating, "well ... my night just changed drastically. got hacked".[36]

Since 2008, she has been in a relationship with New Found Glory's lead guitarist Chad Gilbert. On December 31, 2014, Williams confirmed that she and Gilbert had become engaged, after being proposed to on Christmas Day.[37][38] They were married on February 20, 2016.[39]


Studio albums with Paramore[edit]


Year Title Album
2009 "Teenagers" Jennifer's Body: Music from the Motion Picture

Featured singles[edit]

Single Year Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales threshold)
(B.o.B featuring Hayley Williams)
2010 2 2 2 2 8 2 1 10 5 1 B.o.B Presents:
The Adventures of Bobby Ray
"Stay the Night"
(Zedd featuring Hayley Williams)
2013 18 11 20 22 15 8 20 47 56 2 Clarity
"Vicious Love"
(New Found Glory featuring Hayley Williams)
2015 Resurrection: Ascension
"Bury It" (Chvrches featuring Hayley Williams) 2016 Every Open Eye

Other appearances[edit]

Year Song Album
2006 "Keep Dreaming Upside Down" (October Fall featuring Hayley Williams)[49] A Season in Hell
2007 "Then Came to Kill" (The Chariot featuring Hayley Williams)[50] The Fiancée
"The Church Channel" (Say Anything featuring Hayley Williams)[51] In Defense of the Genre
"Plea" (Say Anything featuring Hayley Williams and Kenny Vasoli)[51]
2008 "Fallen" (Death In The Park featuring Hayley Williams)[52] Death In The Park EP
2009 "Tangled Up" (New Found Glory featuring Hayley Williams)[53] Not Without a Fight
"The Few That Remain" (Set Your Goals featuring Hayley Williams)[54] This Will Be the Death of Us
2010 "Airplanes, Part II" (B.o.B featuring Hayley Williams and Eminem) B.o.B Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray
"Fallen" (Death In The Park featuring Hayley Williams)[55] Death In The Park
2011 "Rainbow Connection" (Weezer and Hayley Williams) Muppets: The Green Album
2012 "Fox's Dream of the Log Flume" (MewithoutYou featuring Hayley Williams)[56] Ten Stories
"All Circles" (MewithoutYou featuring Hayley Williams and Daniel Smith of Danielson)[56]
"Babe" (What's Eating Gilbert featuring Hayley Williams) Nashville Session
"What's His Name" (Domestikated featuring Becca (Hayley Williams)) Five Minutes in Timeout!
2015 "Wearing Your Ring" (What's Eating Gilbert featuring Hayley Williams)[57] That New Sound You're Looking For

|- | 2017 | "As U Wave" (HalfNoise feat. Hayley Williams) | The Velvet Face EP

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Association Category Work Result
2007 Kerrang Readers' Poll 2007 Sexiest Female Front Singer Herself Won
2008 Kerrang Readers' Poll 2008 Won
Los Premios MTV Latinoamérica Premio Fashionista 2008 Won
MTV Video Music Brazil Best International Atc 2008 Won
2009 Los Premios MTV Latinoamérica Premio Fashionista 2009 Won
Shockwaves NME Awards 2009 Sexiest Female Won
Kerrang Readers' Poll 2009 Won
2010 Kerrang Readers' Poll 2010 Won
2010 MTV Video Music Awards Video of the Year "Airplanes" (featuring Hayley Williams)B.o.B Nominated
Best Hip-Hop Video Nominated
Best Collaboration Nominated
Teen Choice Awards 2010 Hook Up Song Won
52nd Annual Grammy Awards Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media "Decode" – Williams, Josh Farro and Taylor York Nominated
2011 Kerrang Readers' Poll 2011 Sexiest Female Herself Won
37th People's Choice Awards Favorite Song "Airplanes" (featuring Hayley Williams) – B.o.B Nominated
BET Awards 2011 Video of the Year Nominated
Best Collaboration Nominated
53rd Annual Grammy Awards Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals "Airplanes, Part II" (featuring Hayley Williams and Eminem) – B.o.B Nominated
2012 Kerrang Readers' Poll 2012 Sexiest Female Herself Won
NME Awards 2012 Hottest Female Nominated
Kerrang! Awards 2012 Nominated
Tweeter of the Year Won
2013 Kerrang! Awards 2013 Hottest Female Nominated
2014 Alternative Press Music Awards 2014 Best Singer
iHeartRadio Music Awards EDM Song of the Year[58] "Stay the Night" (featuring Hayley Williams)Zedd
MTV Video Music Awards 2014 Best Editing[59]
MTV Clubland Award[60] Won
Billboard Women in Music Trailblazer Award[19] Herself
2015 57th Annual Grammy Awards Best Rock Song "Ain't It Fun" – Williams and Taylor York
Kerrang! Awards 2015 Best Tweeter Herself
Alternative Press Music Awards 2015 Best Singer


  1. ^ Atlantic Records Paramore
  2. ^ a b "Hayley's Profile". Retrieved April 26, 2010. 
  3. ^ Iwasaki, Scott (May 6, 2010). "Paramore is ready for first 'official' tour". Deseret News. Retrieved May 28, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Simply The Best 7 Days A Week :: Celeb News :: Williams treated to surprise birthday party". Daily Star. December 28, 2009. Retrieved August 2, 2010. 
  5. ^ a b "Paramore Biography". All Music. Retrieved August 16, 2007. 
  6. ^ Jaye Watson (March 6, 2011). "Paramore's Hayley Williams' mom engaged after surprise proposal". 
  7. ^ Rick Fulton (February 1, 2008). "Hayley Williams takes on Amy Winehouse". Daily Record. 
  8. ^ James Montgomery (September 23, 2009). "Paramore Are Set To Become The Kings And Queen Of The South". MTV. 
  9. ^ "Hayley Williams is 'Cosmopolitan' cover girl". The Tennessean. April 4, 2011. 
  10. ^ a b Bayer, Jonah (February 2008). "Born for This". Alternative Press (235). 
  11. ^ Hayley Williams; Josh Farro (June 26, 2007). "ASL's Exclusive Interview With Paramore" (Interview). Interview with Joshua Martin. Retrieved October 12, 2007. 
  12. ^ a b c d "Interview with Jeff Hanson". HitQuarters. September 20, 2010. Retrieved October 4, 2010. 
  13. ^ "Kiss Me by New Found Glory". Retrieved April 11, 2009. 
  14. ^ "Kerrang! 2007 Readers' Poll". Kerrang!. December 12, 2007. 
  15. ^ "Kerrang! 2008 Readers' Poll". Kerrang!. December 10, 2008. 
  16. ^ "Hayley addresses the solo song "Teenagers"". Archived from the original on July 27, 2009. Retrieved April 26, 2010. 
  17. ^ "New Hayley Williams / B.o.B Song 'Airplanes' Premiered Today! – Blog Detail". April 12, 2010. Retrieved April 26, 2010. 
  18. ^ Montgomery, James (September 17, 2013). "Hayley Williams Says Zedd Helped Her Find Her Inner Emo". MTV. Viacom. Retrieved November 15, 2014. 
  19. ^ a b "Paramore's Hayley Williams to Receive Trailblazer Honor at Billboard Women in Music Awards". Billboard. Retrieved November 14, 2014. 
  20. ^ "Meet the A-List Cast Starring in Taylor Swift's New Music Video". Retrieved June 19, 2015. 
  21. ^ "2014 Grammy Award wins in rock". 
  22. ^ "Hayley Williams wins the APMA for Best Vocalist". July 22, 2015. Retrieved December 30, 2015. 
  23. ^ Vocal Range and Profile: Hayley Williams. Critic of Music (November 3, 2012). Retrieved on September 20, 2015.
  24. ^ "Bamboozle Recap: Day 1". May 6, 2007. Retrieved October 13, 2007. 
  25. ^ Mayer, John (October 27, 2007). "Paramore". Retrieved November 1, 2007. 
  26. ^ Sheehan, Katie (March 14, 2013). "Hayley Williams of Paramore Partners With MAC". Artistdirect. Retrieved April 9, 2013. 
  27. ^ "M.A.C.'s New Flaming Hot Hayley Williams Collection". Elle. Retrieved 2015.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  28. ^ "Star Spotting: Paramore's Hayley Williams' Nylon Cover Is Frameable Art". MTV Buzzworthy. Viacom International Inc. Retrieved 2015.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  29. ^ "Hayley Williams launches Hard Rock Café's PINKTOBER campaign". 
  30. ^ "Alter The Press!: Hayley Williams To Host a New Online TV Show". 
  31. ^ "Alternative Press: Hayley Williams launches hair dye company". 
  32. ^ "@gooddyeyoung: Let's start back in summer of 2011…". 
  33. ^ "Cosmetics Business: Hayley Williams launches hair dye brand Good Dye Young". 
  34. ^ Persaud, Trevor (December 27, 2010). "Disgruntled Rock Stars Cite Faith as a Reason for Leaving Band". Christianity Today. Retrieved February 10, 2016. 
  35. ^ Bendix, Trish (September 7, 2010). "An interview with tourmates Tegan Quin and Hayley Williams of Paramore". Archived from the original on March 14, 2013. Retrieved January 8, 2013. 
  36. ^ "Hayley Williams Thanks Fans For Support After Topless Twitpic". MTV News. Retrieved June 12, 2016. 
  37. ^ "hayley from Paramore on Twitter". Twitter. 
  38. ^ "Chad Gilbert on Twitter". Twitter. 
  39. ^ "Hayley Williams and Chad Gilbert Married". AbsolutePunk. 
  40. ^ "RIAA Certifications for B.o.B". Billboard. Retrieved July 15, 2010. 
  41. ^ "ARIA Charts – Top 50 Singles Chart". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved June 20, 2010. 
  42. ^ "BPI Certified Awards Search" (insert "BoB" into the search box, select "Keyword" on the "Search by" drop-down menu and then select "Go"). British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved September 4, 2013. 
  43. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank: B.o.B" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved May 25, 2012. 
  44. ^ Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA): Gold & Platinum – January 2005. Retrieved on August 25, 2013.
  45. ^ "Latest Gold & Platinum Singles: New Zealand". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved October 20, 2009. 
  46. ^ "American certifications – Zedd". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved August 31, 2013. 
  47. ^ "ARIA Charts – 2013 Accreditations". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved February 1, 2014. 
  48. ^ "BPI certified Awards". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved May 9, 2014. 
  49. ^ "October Fall – A Season in Hell". Retrieved May 19, 2010. 
  50. ^ "Chariot, The - The Fiancee - Album Review -". Retrieved May 19, 2010. 
  51. ^ a b "Say Anything To Post New Song". Retrieved May 19, 2010. 
  52. ^ Brian Shultz. "Death in the Park - Death in the Park (EP)". Retrieved September 19, 2016. 
  53. ^ "New Found Glory - Not Without a Fight - Album Review -". Retrieved May 19, 2010. 
  54. ^ "Set Your Goals - This Will Be The Death Of Us - Album Review -". Retrieved June 18, 2010. 
  55. ^ Brian Shultz. "Death in the Park - Death in the Park (LP)". Retrieved September 19, 2016. 
  56. ^ a b "mewithoutYou releases new song". Sputnikmusic. 
  57. ^ "New Found Glory guitarist's side project What's Eating Gilbert specializes in bright, snappy guitar tunes". 
  58. ^ "iHeartRadio Music Awards Articles". iHeartRadio. 
  59. ^ "MTV Video Music Awards - Show Highlights, Winners, Performers, Hosts and More From Past Video Music Awards -". 
  60. ^ "MTV Video Music Awards - Show Highlights, Winners, Performers, Hosts and More From Past Video Music Awards -". 

External links[edit]