Hayley Nichole Williams is an American singer, songwriter, musician, and businesswoman. She is best known as the lead vocalist, songwriter, and occasional guitarist and keyboardist of the rock band Paramore, which she co-founded in 2004.
Williams was born and raised in Meridian, Mississippi. Her parents divorced when she was 13 and she moved with her mother to Franklin, Tennessee, where she later formed Paramore alongside Josh Farro, Zac Farro, and Jeremy Davis. Paramore has released six studio albums: All We Know Is Falling (2005), Riot! (2007), Brand New Eyes (2009), Paramore (2013), After Laughter (2017), and This Is Why (2023). It has featured a continuously changing line-up (currently consisting of Williams, Zac Farro, and Taylor York) with Williams being the only member to appear on all six albums.
Williams’ non-Paramore musical work includes the song “Teenagers” for the soundtrack of the film Jennifer’s Body (2009) and collaborations with The Chariot, October Fall, New Found Glory, Set Your Goals, and Zedd. In 2010, she was featured on the single “Airplanes” by B.o.B. It peaked at No. 2 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and sequel to the song, “Airplanes, Part II”, featured new verses from B.o.B. and a guest verse from Eminem with Williams’ vocals remaining. This gained a nomination for the Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals. She has also released the solo EPs Petals for Armor I (2020) and Petals for Armor II (2020), the subsequent full-length solo album Petals for Armor (2020), and her second solo album Flowers for Vases / Descansos (2021).
Williams’ other ventures include the music series Kiss-Off and the hair dye company Good Dye Young.
Nick Name: Spongebob, Sponge, Hayles, Hbomb
Years active: 2003–present
Born age: December 27, 1988, 34 years old and 11 months, Meridian, Mississippi, U.S
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Hair Color: She dyes her hair as bright red-orange. She told Spin that her natural hair color is light brown or blonde.
Eye Color: Green
Height: 5 ft 2 in / 1.57 m
Measurements: 34-25-34 in / 86-63.5-86 cm
Bra Size: 32B US / 70B EU
Genres: Alternative rock, pop punk, pop rock, power pop, emo pop, emo
Instruments: Vocals, bass, keyboards, guitar, drums
Music group: Paramore (Since 2004)
Williams has attended some school in Mississippi, where she was born. Later, she moved to Tennessee and went to different school, where she met her future band members, The Farro brothers.
After that, she faced bullying and so was home schooled.
Father – Joey Williams
Mother – Christie Williams
Siblings – Erica Williams (Younger step-sister), McKayla Williams (Younger step-sister), Jiana (Younger step-sister), Anthony (Younger step-brother)
Hayleyo all siblings are from her mother other marriages.
Spouse: Chad Gilbert (m. 2016–2017)
Hayley Nichole Williams was born in Meridian, Mississippi, on December 27, 1988, the daughter of Cristi and Joey Williams. She has two younger half-sisters. Her childhood neighbor was future NBA player Rodney Hood. After her parents’ divorce in 2002, when she was 13, she moved with her mother to Franklin, Tennessee. It was here that she met future Paramore bandmates Josh and Zac Farro at her new school. Shortly after settling in Franklin, she began taking vocal lessons with Brett Manning. While still at school, she tried out for a local funk cover band called The Factory, where she met Jeremy Davis.
Williams was discovered in 2003 by managers Dave Steunebrink and Richard Williams, who signed the 14-year-old to a two-year production deal. At the time she was writing pop songs with songwriters in Nashville. 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.
Atlantic decided to go along with her wishes, and she then formed Paramore with Josh Farro, Zac Farro, and Jeremy Davis. 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. According to Williams, the name “Paramore” came from the maiden name of the mother of one of their first bass players. Once the group learned the meaning of the homophone “paramour” (“secret lover”), they decided to adopt the name, using the Paramore spelling. 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 five more studio albums, Riot! (2007), Brand New Eyes (2009), the self-titled Paramore (2013), After Laughter (2017) and This Is Why (2023). 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, Josh and Zac Farro left the band. The news was posted by Williams on Paramore’s website, with Josh later posting a blog post confirming their departure, calling the group “a manufactured product of a major label, riding on the coattails of ‘Hayley’s dream'”.
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. The following year, she and the rest of Paramore made an appearance in the music video for “Kiss Me” by New Found Glory. In the 2007 Kerrang! Readers’ Poll, she finished second to Evanescence‘s Amy Lee in the “Sexiest Female” category, going on to win the first place spot for “Sexiest Female” a year later in the 2008 poll, 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 stated that she had no plans to establish herself as a solo artist. 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. 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.
EDM producer Zedd and Williams collaborated on the track “Stay the Night“, from his debut studio album, Clarity, 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. In 2015, Williams starred as the ‘Crimson Curse’ in Taylor Swift‘s music video for her single, “Bad Blood“, alongside sixteen other celebrities. 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“. In July 2015, Williams won the APMA for Best Vocalist. In 2019, she collaborated with American Football on the song “Uncomfortably Numb”, which appeared on the band’s third self-titled studio album.
In a 2019 interview with l’Odet, Williams was asked if she would “stay in Paramore for a long time” and answered, “In moving forward, if the three of us are happy, then we will just do whatever we want to do. If that means collaborating with each other, bringing other friends in to collaborate—there are seven band members when we tour. We’re all friends and we all make music in different parts, together. So I feel like, yes, I want to be in Paramore… I’ve been in a band with them since I was 12. I don’t think the band is going anywhere. As long as we’re friends, the band just is. It’s just in us.”
In December 2019, on her 31st birthday, Williams announced she would be releasing solo music in 2020, with a “taste” of it to come in January. Flyers consisting of a picture of Williams under the title Petals for Armor began appearing in several US cities and abroad. Her debut solo single “Simmer” was released on January 22, 2020, with its accompanying music video. That same day Williams announced that her debut studio album, Petals for Armor, would be released on May 8, 2020. It was later revealed that she would release an EP, Petals for Armor I, on February 6, 2020, in an interview with Zane Lowe on Apple Music. On March 19, she announced that she was postponing the release of the second half of the EP, and instead released the song “Roses/Lotus/Violet/Iris” featuring boygenius.
In January 2021, Williams started teasing a project titled Flowers for Vases / Descansos. She unofficially released the single “My Limb” by giving a CD with the track on it to a dedicated fan. Williams released the album on February 5, 2021. On June 5, 2023, it was announced that Williams would be featured on Taylor Swift‘s upcoming re-recorded album, Speak Now (Taylor’s Version), on the song “Castles Crumbling”.
In March 2013, Williams announced she was partnering with MAC Cosmetics for the release of a new makeup collection on April 9, 2013. The four-piece collection included a bright orange lipstick, an orange nail polish, a shimmery coral eye shadow and a beauty powder. Hayley appeared on the April 2013 cover of Nylon magazine to promote Paramore’s self-titled album. In October, she partnered with the Hard Rock Café’s PINKTOBER charity campaign to raise awareness and funding for breast cancer and its research.
In 2015, she launched the online beauty and music series Kiss-Off on Popular TV.
In 2016, after over four years of planning, Williams launched the hair dye company Good Dye Young alongside her hair and makeup artist Brian O’Connor. The colors offered by the company included an orange called Riot, a pink called Ex-Girl, a blue called Blue Ruin, a yellow called Steal My Sunshine, a red called Rock Lobster, a purple called PPL Eater, a green called Kowabunga, a teal called Narwhal, and a black called None More Black. The dyes are vegan and cruelty-free. In 2017, Good Dye Young launched a temporary hair dye line that disappears after one wash called Poser Paste, and in May 2020, they released Lighter Daze, a range of five semi-permanent pastel colors.
In 2019, Williams posted an Instagram story about the 2018 Pool Kids album Music to Practice Safe Sex to, saying that Paramore had wished they sounded like that 15 years earlier. The widely seen post brought more attention to the new and relatively unknown Pool Kids.
In November 2020, Williams released a candle in collaboration with home fragrance brand Apothekeco.
In March 2021, Williams announced her collaboration with Tea Huntress, a tea manufacturer in Nashville. Two new blends are available as part of the collaboration, called Bloom and Alibi. A portion of each sale will be donated to Thistle Farms, an organization that helps women survivors of trafficking, abuse, and addiction.
Williams cites a wide range of musical acts as her influences such as Björk, NSYNC, Jimmy Eat World, Saves the Day, mewithoutYou, Radiohead, The Cure, Talking Heads, Fleetwood Mac, No Doubt, Slick Shoes, The Chariot, Now, Now, New Found Glory, Fireworks, Set Your Goals, Tegan and Sara, H2O, Lemuria, and The Swellers. She has also noted her admiration for female singers such as Christina Aguilera, Debbie Harry, Emily Haines, Siouxsie Sioux, Gwen Stefani, Beyoncé, and Brody Dalle.
Williams is a soprano with a four-octave range. Emilee Lindner of MTV News has noted her ability to sing in the whistle register, and Maura Johnston of Rolling Stone her “acrobatic” singing style. Thrills also notes Williams’s slight country twang in some of her songs. Alternative Press wrote that Williams “has more charisma than singers twice her age, and her band aren’t far behind in their chops, either.” Singer-songwriter John Mayer praised Williams’s voice in an October 2007 blog post, calling her “The great orange hope” (her hair being orange at the time).
Williams has identified as Christian and regularly discusses her faith in relation to her music, but has often criticized the judgmental nature of some Christians. The Farro brothers cited differing attitudes on faith as contributing to their exit from Paramore.
In late 2007, Williams began dating New Found Glory lead guitarist Chad Gilbert. They became engaged on Christmas Day in 2014, and were married on February 20, 2016. They formally announced that they had separated on July 1, 2017, with Gilbert’s infidelity later being revealed as the reason, and their divorce was finalized by the end of the year. In September 2022, Williams confirmed she was dating her Paramore bandmate Taylor York.
Williams previously publicized her decisions not to smoke, drink alcohol, or use recreational drugs, though she now drinks alcohol. She has been vocal about her experiences with depression, which caused her to briefly leave Paramore in mid-2015. In a 2019 interview, she openly discussed depression, mental health, and her divorce. In a 2020 interview, she revealed she had suicidal thoughts but did not act on them. In a 2021 interview, she discussed how she had been impacted by generational trauma and revealed that she has been seeing a therapist since 2018. In a 2023 interview, she revealed that she had been diagnosed with PTSD in 2018.
In 2015, Williams responded to feminist criticism of Paramore’s breakout song “Misery Business“, citing her youth and inexperience as a contributing factor to the song’s allegedly misogynistic lyrics. In a blog post, she described herself as “a proud feminist […] just maybe not a perfect one”.
In 2020, following the George Floyd protests, Williams temporarily handed control of her Instagram account to Nashville-based activist group Teens4Equality to highlight their work in relation to the Black Lives Matter movement.
In 2021, Williams announced that she would be abandoning her personal social media accounts due to her need for boundaries between her public and private life and her desire to “spend more time looking up and out, rather than down”. She directed her fans to instead follow Paramore’s official accounts, which remain highly active. She later returned to using Instagram, but disabled the ability to leave comments on her posts.
Hayley Williams (as a founding member of the band Paramore) released her first album All We Know Is Falling on July 26, 2005 via “Fueled by Ramen”. The album reached #8 in UK Rock Chart and was certified as Gold in UK.
It sold more than 530,000 copies, just in USA.
Hayley Williams has appeared in TV movie documentary Paramore: Born for This in 2007 as herself.
In 2009, she appeared in another short movie Paramoreo ‘Brick by Boring Brick’ as herself.
Hayley Williams Favorite Things
Food – Coconut milk ice cream
Song – Carrying The Banner (By the Newsies Soundtrack)
Restaurant – Grannyo house
Drug – Fun
Book – The Perks of Being A Wallflower (By Stephen Chbosky)
Clothing – Her boyfriendo old Bjork tee
Musical Gear – ’59 Les Paul Jr.
Timepass on road – Watching scary movies with boys
Body Part – Wenis
Hayley Williams Facts
She has a tattoo on the inside of her right ankle saying “Shave Me”.
Hayley have several siblings. This is due to the fact that her mother married 4 times. Hayley is from her mothero first marriage. So, she is the eldest.
She is the vocalist for the band Paramore. Other members include Josh Farro, Jeremy Davis, and Zac Farro.
The Farro brothers departed from the group in December 2010 due to some differences in the faith among the band members.
She has several tattoos on her body. The list starts as – one behind her ear, another on her wrist and thigh, and two on her ankles. So, there are a total of 5. The number of tattoos increased to 9 after couple of months.
In 2009, and 2010, she won Kerrang Readers’ Poll award in the category of “Sexiest Female”.
Ice cream is her weakness. She can manage to keep other dairy products out from her menu, but not ice cream.