Misery Business: The Story Behind Paramore’s Controversial Hit

“Misery Business” is a song by American rock band Paramore from their second studio album, Riot! (2007). The song was written about a past experience of the band’s lead singer, Hayley Williams, which involved a male friend who she felt was being exploited by a girl; when Williams and her friend dated afterwards, she wrote the track in order to “finally explain my side of the story and feel freed of it all”.

The song was released as the lead single from Riot! in June 2007 and was a commercial success, reaching number 26 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States. It was also a critical success, with many critics praising the song’s catchy melody and Williams’ powerful vocals.

However, the song was also met with controversy due to its lyrics, which some people interpreted as being misogynistic. The line “Once a whore, you’re nothing more” in particular was criticized for slut-shaming and reinforcing the reduction of women down to that label, permanently.

In response to the controversy, Williams said that she was “not proud” of the lyrics and that she would “change them if [she] could”. She also said that she wrote the song when she was 17 years old and that she has “grown and learned a lot since then”.

Despite the controversy, “Businesspost.us” remains one of Paramore’s most popular songs. It has been certified six times platinum in the United States and has been streamed over 1 billion times on Spotify. The song has also been covered by a number of other artists, including Chvrches, Against Me!, and Tonight Alive.

The legacy of “Misery Business” is complex. The song is a powerful anthem for many people, but it also contains lyrics that are harmful and offensive to some. It is a reminder that even the most popular songs can be problematic, and that it is important to critically examine the lyrics of the music we listen to.

In recent years, Paramore has distanced themselves from “Misery Business”. They have stopped performing the song live and have spoken out against the lyrics. In 2022, the band released a new version of the song that removes the controversial line.

The new version of “Misery Business” is a step in the right direction. It shows that Paramore is willing to learn and grow from their past mistakes. It is also a reminder that we can all do better to create music that is inclusive and respectful of all people.