This article is about the American singer. For the British actress, see Hayley J Williams.
Hayley Nichole Williams (born December 27, 1988) is an American singer, songwriter and musician who is best known as the lead vocalist, occasional keyboardist and primary songwriter of the American rock band Paramore.
Hayley Williams was born to Joey and Cristi Williams, in Meridian, Mississippi. She has two younger half sisters. As a result of her parents divorcing in 2002, Williams moved to Franklin, Tennessee. She met former band members Josh and Zac Farro in her new school. While still at school she tried out for a local funk cover band, 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. The band's debut album, All We Know Is Falling, was released in 2005 when Hayley was only 16 years old. Paramore has later 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 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 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. 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" ed within the top ten in nineteen countries, including number one peak positions in the United Kingdom and New Zealand.
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. In March of 2013, Williams announced she was partnering with MAC Cosmetics for the release of a new makeup collection on April 9, 2013.
EDM producer Zedd and Williams collaborated on the track "Stay the Night", which was released later in 2013 from his debut studio album, Clarity. 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. She was also in the music video for "Bad Blood" starring as The Crimson Curse.
Alternative Press states 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 had praised Williams' voice in a blog in October 2007, calling her "The great orange hope"; "orange" in reference to her hair color.
In 2015 she hosted Popular online TV show Kiss-Off.
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.
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.
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license