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How Hayley Williams Achieved a Net Worth of $14 Million

Hayley Williams

Hayley Williams is best known as the lead singer for Paramore, a rock band formed in 2004. The members worked hard, and by 2015, they had released their fourth album, "Paramore." The album's fourth song, "Ain't It Fun," won the band their first Grammy Award, and Williams won in the "Best Rock Song" category. It was quite an honor considering that the other woman to get such recognition was Alanis Morissette, 16 years before. Since then, a lot has happened to Williams, and now she is proud to be carving her solo career, which she had put off for so long. Her efforts as a songwriter and musician are not in vain because Hayley Williams's net worth stands at $14 million, and here is how she achieved it.

Realizing She Wanted Music as an Escape

Williams has always loved music, or rather, she had a talent for it. Therefore, even as a child, she joined the children's church choir. Her family life was not blissful, and her parents divorced, resulting in Williams's mother getting remarried. Unfortunately, things got worse because her stepfather turned out to be abusive. When the rock star was eight, she saw musicians on MTV, and they looked happy. Consequently, she wished she would be as happy as they were and thought the only way to do so was to be in a band. Williams's life never seemed to get any better; she and her mother were homeless after leaving the abusive stepfather. So they opted to live with her mother's friend in a trailer in the school parking lot. Since her mother had already seen how talented Williams was as a musician, they moved to Tennessee when the friend who was housing them moved there; after all, Nashville is the home of country music. However, things got worse for Williams because of her Southern accent. She was bullied and tried practicing how to speak without her accent, but that did not work. She learned to pen down her frustration in poems and joined a local band for money because, by then, they had to rely on donations from church and friends. The bullying resulted in her mother taking Williams out of public school and enrolling her in a homeschool tutorial program that met once a week in church. The other four days had her mum worried about leaving her daughter alone at home because she already felt Williams was a loner. So Williams's mother encouraged her to make friends by joining a full-time band instead of spending her free time writing songs. Still, it is essential to note that Williams was being paid to write songs for other pop singers after getting a two-year production contract from Richard Williams and Dave Steunebrink. Thus her career began as a songwriter at only 14.

Establishing a Rock band, Paramore

While Williams made money as a songwriter, her dream was always to be in a band, and the chance presented itself. During the in-person tutorials, Williams met two brothers, Josh and Zac Farro. According to Mibba, the three of them started a funk cover band, Factory, which later changed to Paramore after they added another band member, Jeremy Davis. Their talent attracted record labels who wanted to sign Williams without her band mates, but Williams would not have it. Therefore she settled for Atlantic Records, but even the major label had a catch. They were willing to sign Williams separately through a contract with Atlantic Records while the other band members would get a deal with Fueled by Ramen, the label's rock subsidiary. Williams agreed; therefore, when Josh Farro said that Williams was the only Paramore member signed to the label, he was right. He added that the boys were treated like hired help. Still, the band released their debut album when Williams was 16, and by the time they went on the Warped Tour, they were on the main bill. They were raking in lucrative sums. By 2007, The New York Times published that Paramore was making impressive sales when their second album sold over 350,000 copies and all their tours sold out. The article went ahead to attribute the band's success, then only three years old, to Williams and disclosed the revenue sharing method. As per the model, the band members shared the revenues from the album sales, merchandise, concerts, and other earnings made through the label and, in return, got significant career support. The most prominent 360 deal, as such contracts are commonly referred to, was Madonna's worth $120 million.

Going Solo

In a 2014 YouTube video, Williams said she would never go solo because she belonged with Paramore and could not imagine doing anything else. Unfortunately, she had not accounted for the divorce that would happen in 2017. Williams met her ex-husband Chad Gilbert backstage when she was 18, and everything seems to be going on well. The singer had always used her raw emotions to write songs; when Davis left the band in 2015 and sued her, Williams wrote "Tell Me How." She told The Fader that she had been betrayed by many people and did not want to lose anyone else in her life. It must therefore have been painful when she divorced Gilbert. Before getting married, she had considered quitting music to focus on her domestic life. After the divorce, the lead singer felt lost and fell into a depression. She checked herself into therapy, where she accidentally came up with her solo album "Petals for Armor." The songs she wrote were her way of processing her emotions, and she never imagined that an album would spawn from it, but it did. It has helped her fans see her more as more than just part of Paramore. The tracks have hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube, and since she still has her deal with Atlantic Records, it is safe to say she is pocketing significant amounts of money from her music.

Allen Lee

Written by Allen Lee

Allen Lee is a Toronto-based freelance writer who studied business in school but has since turned to other pursuits. He spends more time than is perhaps wise with his eyes fixed on a screen either reading history books, keeping up with international news, or playing the latest releases on the Steam platform, which serve as the subject matter for much of his writing output. Currently, Lee is practicing the smidgen of Chinese that he picked up while visiting the Chinese mainland in hopes of someday being able to read certain historical texts in their original language.

Read more posts by Allen Lee

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