Although Hayley Williams is only 25 years old, she is no newcomer to the music business. As lead singer and songwriter for the alternative rock band “Paramore,” Williams has been at it since the age of 14 when she was signed to Atlantic Records as a solo act. Already displaying the stubbornness of a veteran artist, Williams objected to being marketed as a “pop artist” and instead wanted to be part of a band that played pop punk music. Her persistence paid off and Atlantic decided to go along with her wishes, allowing her to form Paramore with Josh Farro, Zac Farro, and Jeremy Davis. Paramore’s music was originally supposed to come out on Atlantic Records, but the label’s marketing department decided it would be better for the image of the band to not have them attached to a huge label. They instead released their music through a “cooler” niche label, “Fueled by Ramen.” The group released its debut album “All We Know Is Falling” in 2005, and its second album “Riot!” in 2007, which was certified Platinum in the U.S. and Ireland and Gold in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the U.K. “Brand New Eyes,” Paramore’s third album, was released in 2009 and is the band’s second-highest charting album to date, going platinum in Ireland and the U.K., and gold in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand. After several personnel changes throughout this run of success, Paramore’s current lineup consists of lead vocalist Hayley Williams, bassist Jeremy Davis, and guitarist Taylor York. Williams, who has always resented being the main focus of the band, as well as the fact that the readers of the British magazine Kerrang!, voted her as No. 2 “Sexiest Female,” wants the emphasis to be placed on the band’s music and not her sexuality. Well, perhaps Williams is finally getting her way. With the release of their fourth album, and first full-length LP released since the departure of co-founders Josh Farro and Zac Farro, “Paramore” debuted at the #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 200 Album chart. It was also the #1 album in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Argentina and Mexico. And with the appropriately titled single, “Ain’t It Fun,” racing up the Billboard Hot 100, I guess finally getting things done on your terms is just that.

 

With some people referring to him as the “male Adele,” young Brit singer Sam Smith has already experienced success, but only in collaboration with other artists such as “Disclosure” and their hit single “Hatch” or the #1 U.K. single, “La La La,” from “Naughty Boy” in 2013. Both singles featured the rich vocals of Smith, which certainly played a part in the popularity of these songs. Smith released a single, “Lay Me Down,” from his upcoming debut album before the Naughty Boy record, but with unfavorable results. However, in a reversal of fortunes, by December 2013 Smith was making a name for himself in the U.K. when he was nominated for the “2014 BRIT Critics’ Choice Award” and the BBC’s “Sound of 2014” poll, both of which he went on to win. The second single from his debut album, titled “Money On My Mind,” was released in February of this year and only spent one week on the chart. And although the hauntingly captivating single, “Stay With Me” suffered a similar fate, it is that song that started to bring Smith attention here in the States. He performed “Stay With Me” and “Lay Me Down” on his American television debut on “Saturday Night Live,” on March 29th 2014, as the musical guest. Meanwhile, Smith is poised to release his debut studio album titled “In the Lonely Hour,” on May 26, 2014 through Capitol Records. He describes the album as “all about unrequited love,” because he has never been loved back by any of his love interests. Well, my advice to Sam Smith is; maybe you should start singing to ladies you’re interested in, because if any woman can resist that mellifluous voice, they’re either deaf or dumb and in either case not worth asking them to stay with you.