One of the coolest things about Hayley Williams, 24, rock band Paramore's lead singer, is how she has so much street cred in a music genre mostly dominated by men. Maybe that's because she's one of those people who always seems to be genuinely herself, whether you like it or not. "For me, embracing my own power is about embracing my right to be an individual," Williams says. "I learn every day what it means to love myself, and I'm constantly figuring out what makes me feel empowered." Yet her band's new eponymous album, debuting four years after their last record, is all about rediscovering the group as musicians and friends. How exactly do you do that—reinvent yourself while staying true to your core? "I believe in a constant state of change," she says. "Whether I'm being influenced by new music that I'm listening to, books I've read, my friends, or my faith, I'm learning all the time. The past two years of my life, I've become quite a different person. Being open to that growth was what gave me the chance to rediscover myself and my friendships. If the least I can do is have an open mind, then I think I'll take a chance on growing up." Her advice for anyone, whether you're a rock star or working in a cubicle farm: "The truth is, no matter what your lifestyle or occupation, nothing can really stop you when you're allowing yourself to be exactly who you want to be."
Hayley Williams' Top Tips for Being a Legit Rock Chick
1. Get tons of tattoos.
2. Dye your hair like 10 different colors.
3. Start partying so hard that your liver physically hurts.
4. Stop reading these tips because these ideals are what's wrong with the whole genre anyway.
5. Be yourself and be unashamed because that's what punk rock is about. If anyone tells you different, they aren't punk, they are politicians!