Hayley Williams was born in Meridian, Mississippi and grew up there and in Franklin, Tennessee.
Williams is a devout Christian who rocks a large cross tattoo on her thigh. When she got the tattoo, she commented:
Got a black cross on my leg. My faith is the only thing that never fails me.
What does fail her, then? She was probably referring to the dissonance and subsequent line-up change of her band, Paramore. Some members of the band, all of whom are devout Christians, came out condemning Williams and even questioned her faith. They were referring to song lyrics Williams wrote that are supposedly counter to Christian principles.
Williams responded in a strongly-worded blog post where she, among other things, apologized for her transgressions, saying:
I’m ashamed to say that, although I’m a believer in Jesus Christ and I claim Him as my God, when I wrote those lyrics I wasn’t addressing Him. I was using his name casually. In vain, to be blunt.
Guilt and shame, the sign of a good Christian girl.
Beyond Paramore politics
Williams hasn’t contributed much to the political debate, but what she has seems to run counter to what you’d expect from a good southern Christian girl. Most notably is her stance on gay marriage. She said:
The only opinion I have is that I could never look someone in the eye and tell them that they didn’t love someone that they know they love. It’s not my job to judge and it’s not a job I’d want. I love people a lot. All kinds. If we were meant to be the same then we wouldn’t be human.
I detect a slight amount of guilt in that opinion, as if she feels obligated to take the other view. I could be wrong, but still, it seems Williams is perfectly in line with a younger, more tolerant generation that just might be able to reconcile religion and controversial sexual preferences.
Beyond that generally liberal view, Williams hasn’t discussed any other issues or disclosed any sort of political party affiliation. We look forward to more from her.