Paramore Controversy Explained (2024 Updates)

By Klein Felt Posted:
Hayley Williams in Paramore music video

American pop-punk band Paramore sent fans into a flurry with a new controversy to start 2024. 

Coming off a year where lead singer Hayley Williams and bandmates Taylor York and Zac Farro toured with Taylor Swift, released a new album, and got a pair of Grammy nominations, Paramaniacs worldwide were excited to see what the band has in store for the next 12 months.

The Paramore Controversy Explained

Paramore band group together

Over the holiday season, Paramore fans were shocked to find the band had completely wiped its social media channels clean. 

This included the band's official Instagram and Facebook page, lead singer Hayley Williams' Instagram, and even (the group's website). 

This came without notice or any apparent reason, which is especially notable since Paramore is still seemingly set to perform a series of tour dates, including several opening sets for Taylor Swift on the uber-popular Eras Tour

Some speculated it the band had called it quits after over 20 years as a band, while others believed it could be the group's way of indicating to fans they had finally split from its long-standing record deal with Atlantic. 

The fever surrounding this social media blackout was only heightened when the team also announced they would be pulling out of iHeartRadio's ALTer EGO festival on Saturday, January 13, citing "unforeseen circumstances" (via BBC):

"Due to unforeseen circumstances, Paramore can no longer attend and perform at iHeartRadio ALTer EGO on January 13. The band apologizes for any inconvenience."

While this series of events led fans to try and "decode" what exactly was happening to their favorite band, the method behind the madness was swiftly revealed. 

On January 15 (mere days after the initial social media wipe), Variety reported all of this was due to Paramore splitting from Atlantic Records after completing its 20-year record deal. 

The outlet called the band "free agents," blaming the record label fracture on the website being taken down along with the various social channels. 

Paramore's Atlantic deal has long been a point of contention amongst the band itself and its fanbase.

Infamously, Atlantic signed only the group's lead singer Hayley Williams (who was 14 at the time) to a notorious '360' record contract

This '360 deal' meant Hayley (and in turn the band) had to share their earnings from not just record sales but concert appearances and merchandise (which are traditionally left to the band).

While earning less money because of this, deals such as this are used in the music industry with particularly younger artists to offer better exposure and career support along the way. 

However, Paramore's 360 deal caused plenty of strife within the band. Because it was Williams' name on the contract, the rest of the band has felt like afterthoughts at times, causing original members Zach and Josh Farro to leave the group in 2010. 

Zach has since rejoined the band, but the relationship between Paramore and Zach's brother Josh remains strained. 

What Could a New Paramore Deal Mean?

While it likely will not be long before Paramore is gobbled up by another record label, some have wondered what this new deal could mean for the band. 

Ultimately the biggest thing going forward for the group is going to be getting all three of their names on the contract and singing as a band and not an individual. 

Given Paramore's mega-success over the last 20 years (selling over seven million albums and winning a Grammy), the band has a kind of negotiating power it did not have back in 2001. 

Some have speculated this new deal could see Paramore take a page out of their tourmate Taylor Swift's books as well with the potential of re-recording their currently Atlantic-owned back-catalog. 

Swift has shaken the music industry to its core over the past couple of years as the trail-blazing artist released new versions (titled Taylor's Version) of every one of her albums whose masters are owned by third parties. 

According to sources, "All [Paramore wants] is ownership of their music" (via The Sun), which could be the first indication they may follow in Taylor Swift's footsteps and start the rerecording process. 

Swift is reportedly "really supportive [of the band] behind the scenes," serving as a sounding board for ideas such as this:

“Taylor is really supportive to them behind the scenes and is always available to give them advice. She’s their biggest cheerleader.”

Another Sun source remarked, "There’s likely to be more bands and artists who re-record their music in years to come to regain rights," and Paramore could be the next. 

Paramore's latest album This Is Why is available now.

- About The Author: Klein Felt
Klein Felt is a Senior Editor at The Direct. Joining the website back in 2020, he helped jumpstart video game content on The Direct. Klein plays a vital role as a part of the site's content team, demonstrating expertise in all things PlayStation, Marvel, and the greater entertainment industry.