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Paramore's Hayley Williams Reject Tennessee State Honor in Solidarity With Allison Russell, Citing “Blatant Racism” of House Republicans




After a Nashville Democrat proposed twin resolutions celebrating the musicians’ Grammy wins, Tennessee Republicans voted to recognize Paramore but blocked the proclamation honoring Russell.



Paramore have declined a Tennessee resolution honoring the band for their recent Grammy win after the state’s House of Representatives rejected a similar resolution celebrating Allison Russell.


Earlier this week, Democratic Rep. Justin Jones introduced the two resolutions to honor the Volunteer State’s Grammy winners. While Paramore’s resolution passed through the House unencumbered, the one honoring Russell was blocked by House Republican Caucus Chair Jeremy Faison, who sent the resolution back to the committee.


In a statement to the Tennessean, Hayley Williams criticized House Republicans for rejecting Russell and, in an Instagram Story, said they would stand in solidarity with the singer by not accepting “any acknowledgment or honor from the TN House” until Russell is also recognized.


“This week, Rep. Justin Jones put forth resolutions to honor my band, Paramore and another local-to-Nashville artist, Allison Russell, on our recent Grammy wins (as far as I can tell these resolutions have no legal weight to them. They’re like a big high five or when the whole restaurant joins in to sing you “Happy Birthday”),” Williams said. “House Republicans only let the measure that acknowledged Paramore’s win pass. They blocked Allison’s.”


Williams added, “For those that don’t know, Allison Russell is an incredibly talented musician and songwriter. Her music spans genres with strong ties to the Folk/Americana scenes. You might have seen her on the Grammy stage performing with the great Joni Mitchell. Oh, she is also Black. She’s a brilliant Black woman.


“Allison Russell is a Tennesseean, and she’s someone who’s been a bold voice for a more inclusive, just state,” Rep. Jones said Thursday. “There were two resolutions on the consent calendar that night, one for Paramore and one for Allison Russell. Both have been vocal voices for justice, but only the Black queer woman was bumped off.”


Williams continued, “The blatant racism of our state leadership is embarrassing and cruel. Myself, as well as Paramore, will continue to encourage young people to show up to vote with equality in mind.”


Kudos to Paramore for going against the establishment, and standing up for what's right. This is when we appreciate and need our allies the most.

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