Paramore Decline Tennessee Grammys Honour “Until Allison Russell Is Given the Same Recognition” | Exclaim!

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Earlier this week (February 12), Tennessee’s House of Representatives considered a pair of resolutions honouring the recent Grammy wins of Nashville-based artists in recent Exclaim! cover star Allison Russell and acclaimed alt-rockers Paramore. While the resolution to honour Paramore — an all-white trio — was passed, the proposed honour for Russell — a Black singer-songwriter — was objected to by House Republican Caucus Chair Jeremy Faison (R-Cosby).

By House rules, Faison was under no obligation to explain his opposition, though his decision appeared unambiguously racist. As Russell wrote on X (formerly Twitter) in response, “That the TN GOP blocked it, I take it as a compliment. Their bigotry, sadly, is on relentless display. We have a chance this year to make a real change in TN.”

Now, Paramore vocalist Hayley Williams has also denounced “the blatant racism of our state leadership,” calling it “embarrassing and cruel.”

Williams thanked Russell for using her “voice and artistry to band people together, not tear them apart,” in a statement provided to The Tennessean that you can find below.

Via an Instagram story, Paramore affirmed that they “will not accept any acknowledgement or honour from the TN House until Allison Russell is given the same recognition.”

Both Grammy resolutions were brought before Tennessee state leadership by Representative Justin Jones (D-Nashville). Last April, Jones was one of two Black members — out of a trio of Democrats who came to be known as the Tennessee Three — expelled from the House for attending a gun control protest. As it happens, Republican Caucus Chair Faison led the effort to expel Jones from the House.

Speaking of expulsion, Faison himself was notably expelled from a high school basketball game in 2022 after storming the court and attempting to pull down the pants of a referee — a move both embarrassing and cruel on his part.

This week, Rep. Justin Jones put forth resolutions to honour 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”).

House Republicans only let the measure that acknowledged Paramore’s win pass. They blocked Allison’s.

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.

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.

I’d like to say thank you to Brother Jones for your steadfast commitment to your community.

And thank you to Allison Russell for using your voice and artistry to band people together, not tear them apart. CONGRATS on your incredible Grammy night.

On behalf of Paramore, Happy Black History Month.

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