Paramore performs ‘Misery Business’ once more after retiring it because of lyrics controversy

USA Prime Time

One of Paramore’s greatest hits is again on its setlist.

The emo-pop band revived its breakthrough single “Misery Business” at its tour cease in Bakersfield, California, on Sunday, enjoying it dwell for the primary time since retiring it in 2018.

At the time, lead singer Hayley Williams said the band would cease enjoying the music “for a extremely very long time” largely because of listener backlash. Some critics discovered “Misery Business” sexist, notably for one lyric that refers to a different girl as a “whore.”

But after years of followers defending the music and Williams reiterating her dedication to feminism, the band felt comfy enjoying it dwell once more.

“Four years in the past, we mentioned we have been gonna retire this music for a short while, and I suppose technically we did,” Williams informed her viewers at Sunday’s gig, in keeping with Rolling Stone. “But what we didn’t know was that, nearly 5 minutes after I obtained canceled for saying the phrase ‘whore’ in a music, all of TikTok determined that it was OK.”

When she and the band launched into the music, the viewers cheered wildly, per footage of the live performance shared on-line by attendees.

Upon its launch in 2007, “Misery Business” catapulted Paramore to stardom. Written by a 17-year-old Williams, the one informed the story of a tumultuous love triangle between youngsters. Fans of the band appeared ahead to its look on Paramore excursions, when Williams would pluck an viewers member to sing its rapid-fire lyrics and refrain along with her. The music and Paramore’s subsequent work has influenced artists like Billie Eilish and Olivia Rodrigo (the latter even had to credit Williams and an ex-Paramore guitarist on her standard single “good 4 you” because of similarities between the 2 songs).

But within the years since its launch, some followers and music critics reconsidered the lyrics to “Misery Business.” The derogatory time period seems as soon as, however the lyric and music’s material – two younger girls vying for a similar boy’s affections – motivated some listeners to explain it as “anti-feminist,” as Williams recounted in numerous interviews.

“The downside with the lyrics isn’t that I had a difficulty with somebody I went to high school with … It’s the best way I attempted to name her out utilizing phrases that didn’t belong within the dialog,” she said in a 2017 interview.

Even earlier than she stopped performing it, Williams distanced herself from its lyrics in a 2015 blog post. She additionally stopped singing a few of the controversial lyrics in dwell performances till the 2018 live performance when she informed the gang that the band felt it was “time to maneuver away from (performing the music) for a short while.”

Williams reiterated her place on “Misery Business” as lately as 2020, when she referred to as out Spotify for including “Misery Business” to a playlist of girls rock stars.

“I do know it’s one of many band’s greatest songs but it surely shouldn’t be used to advertise something having to do with feminine empowerment or solidarity,” she wrote on Instagram in 2020.

But earlier this yr, WIlliams appeared to melt her stance on the music, becoming a member of Eilish to carry out it as a duet at Eilish’s Coachella set in April. And when she sang it dwell once more on Sunday, she informed her audiences that she’d reconsidered it herself: “What I’m making an attempt to say – it’s a phrase,” she mentioned. “You know, we will all study from ourselves, proper?”

Several artists have determined to retire sure songs, even hits, because of listener backlash because the songs age: Elvis Costello final yr mentioned he’d by no means sing “Oliver’s Army” once more, one among his UK hits, as a result of it accommodates a racial slur. The Rolling Stones have additionally stopped performing “Brown Sugar,” which opens with a slave narrative and sexualizes younger Black girls.

Meanwhile, some artists have bowed to listener calls for to replace lyrics that some followers thought of offensive, a choice that itself isn’t with out controversy. Lizzo and Beyoncé each eliminated the phrase “spaz” from songs this yr after a incapacity advocates implored them to. In the UK, the time period is a slur for individuals with disabilities, however within the US, notably in African American Vernacular English, it’s used to explain “going all out” or “being within the zone,” USA Prime Time reported earlier this yr.

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