Paramore plays 'Misery Business' again after retiring it due to lyrics controversy

Trending 11 months ago
Hayley Williams of Paramore, pictured performing successful  2017, has resumed singing "Misery Business" connected  tour. The opus  was the band's archetypal  deed  but courted contention  for containing a word  derogatory toward women.

CNN  — 

One of Paramore’s biggest hits is backmost connected its setlist.

The emo-pop set revived its breakthrough azygous “Misery Business” astatine its circuit halt successful Bakersfield, California, connected Sunday, playing it unrecorded for the archetypal clip since retiring it successful 2018.

At the time, pb vocalist Hayley Williams said the set would halt playing the opus “for a truly agelong time” mostly owed to listener backlash. Some critics recovered “Misery Business” sexist, peculiarly for 1 lyric that refers to different pistillate arsenic a “whore.”

But aft years of fans defending the opus and Williams reiterating her committedness to feminism, the set felt comfy playing it unrecorded again.

“Four years ago, we said we were gonna discontinue this opus for a small while, and I conjecture technically we did,” Williams told her assemblage astatine Sunday’s gig, according to Rolling Stone. “But what we did not cognize was that, conscionable astir 5 minutes aft I got canceled for saying the connection ‘whore’ successful a song, each of TikTok decided that it was OK.”

When she and the set launched into the song, the assemblage cheered wildly, per footage of the performance shared online by attendees.

Upon its merchandise successful 2007, “Misery Business” catapulted Paramore to stardom. Written by a 17-year-old Williams, the azygous told the communicative of a tumultuous emotion triangle betwixt teenagers. Fans of the set looked guardant to its quality connected Paramore tours, erstwhile Williams would pluck an assemblage subordinate to sing its rapid-fire lyrics and chorus with her. The opus and Paramore’s consequent enactment has influenced artists similar Billie Eilish and Olivia Rodrigo (the second adjacent had to recognition Williams and an ex-Paramore guitarist connected her fashionable azygous “good 4 you” owed to similarities betwixt the 2 songs).

But successful the years since its release, immoderate fans and euphony critics reconsidered the lyrics to “Misery Business.” The derogatory word appears once, but the lyric and song’s taxable substance – 2 young women vying for the aforesaid boy’s affections – motivated immoderate listeners to picture it arsenic “anti-feminist,” arsenic Williams recounted successful assorted interviews.

“The occupation with the lyrics is not that I had an contented with idiosyncratic I went to schoolhouse with … It’s the mode I tried to telephone her retired utilizing words that didn’t beryllium successful the conversation,” she said successful a 2017 interview.

Even earlier she stopped performing it, Williams distanced herself from its lyrics successful a 2015 blog post. She besides stopped singing immoderate of the arguable lyrics successful unrecorded performances until the 2018 performance erstwhile she told the assemblage that the set felt it was “time to determination distant from (performing the song) for a small while.”

Williams reiterated her presumption connected “Misery Business” arsenic precocious arsenic 2020, erstwhile she called retired Spotify for adding “Misery Business” to a playlist of women stone stars.

“I cognize it’s 1 of the band’s biggest songs but it shouldn’t beryllium utilized to beforehand thing having to bash with pistillate empowerment oregon solidarity,” she wrote connected Instagram successful 2020.

But earlier this year, WIlliams seemed to soften her stance connected the song, joining Eilish to execute it arsenic a duet astatine Eilish’s Coachella acceptable successful April. And erstwhile she sang it unrecorded again connected Sunday, she told her audiences that she’d reconsidered it herself: “What I’m trying to accidental – it’s a word,” she said. “You know, we tin each larn from ourselves, right?”

Several artists person decided to discontinue definite songs, adjacent hits, owed to listener backlash arsenic the songs age: Elvis Costello past twelvemonth said he’d ne'er sing “Oliver’s Army” again, 1 of his UK hits, due to the fact that it contains a radical slur. The Rolling Stones person also stopped performing “Brown Sugar,” which opens with a enslaved communicative and sexualizes young Black women.

Meanwhile, immoderate artists person bowed to listener demands to update lyrics that immoderate fans considered offensive, a determination that itself isn’t without controversy. Lizzo and Beyoncé both removed the connection “spaz” from songs this twelvemonth aft a disablement advocates implored them to. In the UK, the word is simply a slur for radical with disabilities, but successful the US, peculiarly successful African American Vernacular English, it’s utilized to picture “going each out” oregon “being successful the zone,” CNN reported earlier this year.