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taylor swift and hayley williams
taylor swift and hayley williams
Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images
Culture > Entertainment

Taylor Swift & Hayley Williams’ ‘Speak Now (TV)’ Collab Was A Long Time Coming

Just when I thought I’d recovered from Taylor Swift announcing the release of Speak Now (Taylor’s Version), she decided to drop the track list for the album on June 5. Along with the Vault tracks, fans were shocked and ecstatic to see that one of the collaborations, “Castles Crumbling (Taylor’s Version) (From the Vault),” features Hayley Williams of Paramore. It truly felt like I was being transported back to the 2010s when I alternated between lyric videos for “Misery Business” and “Speak Now” in my free time. 

Although these two music icons continue to take over the charts a decade later, that’s not the only thing they have in common. While it’s a well-known fact that Paramore opened up for Swift on the Eras Tour, the friendship timeline of these two go back further than you might think. 

taylor swift and hayley williams
Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images

February 2009: Williams and Swift meet. 

It turns out Mama Swift had a large role to play in the early beginnings of this friendship, when she came up to Paramore at a 2009 Grammys party and said, “‘It’s no nice to meet you guys, you’ve got to meet my daughter.’” According to the interview Williams gave with MTV in 2015, it didn’t take long for them to exchange numbers and they hung out more regularly in Nashville. 

September 2009: Williams offers Swift support after the VMAs. 

Whether or not you’re a Swiftie, you probably remember the 2009 VMAs, where Kanye West interrupted Swift’s VMA speech. Well, on the opening night of the Eras Tour, Williams told the crowd, “I did not text her until a certain VMA scandal and that was the first time I felt like I had to reach out because that person did not deserve that.” Get yourself a friend like Williams that will make sure you’re OK even when they’re incredibly shy. 

Dec. 27, 2009: Swift attends Williams’ birthday party. 

Williams’ 21st birthday was celebrated with a surprise birthday party at a roller rink that was put together by her then-boyfriend, Chad Gilbert. In a now deleted tweet, Swift tweeted, “Just leaving Hayley Williams’ surprise b-day party. Roller skates were worn, Hanson was played. Party! Go Hayley!” Willams also reportedly tweeted, “Taylor Swift knows how to party! Don’t think I don’t have the ‘Confessions Pt. 2’ dance burned into my mind for life!” 

When talking about Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) on an Instagram post on June 6, Willams’ wrote, “I wish I could go back to this moment at my 21st birthday party and tell her one day she’ll legitimately own Speak Now and we’ll get to sing together on one of the songs.” 

June 9, 2010: Willams presents Swift’s CMT trophy. 

What’s better than having one of your best friends present you with an award? In 2010, she rewarded Swift with her CMT trophy. While presenting the award, she said, “Taylor Swift and I might seem like an odd pair, from two completely different genres of music, not to mention the two-foot height difference, but I think we were destined to be friends. We both started writing music at an early age, both of our families moved to Nashville in our early teens, and now, we’re both lucky enough to make a living doing what we love: singing over loud guitars. I fell in love with Taylor’s songs long before I met her and when we finally did hang out, she was exactly the person she seemed she would be: clever, honest and one of the best storytellers I know. Taylor, you’ve accomplished so much and I can’t wait to see what’s next, so… it is an honor to present you with this trophy.” 

When Swift accepted the award, the two embraced in a hug and Swift patted Willams on the head, noting their height difference. In her speech, Swift thanked Williams by saying, “I wanna thank my tiny, little fiery-haired friend, Hayley Williams because I’ve been harassing her all day by going, ‘Hey, Hayley, can you sing ‘Can we pretend that airplanes in the night sky are like shooting stars? I could really use a wish right now, wish right now, wish right now.’ Can you sing it?’ and then she just rolls her eyes.”

Sept. 16, 2011: They perform “That’s What You Get” on the Speak Now World Tour. 

One of the most memorable moments of Swift’s and Williams’ friendship is when Swift brought Willams out on stage during the Speak Now World Tour. It was a tradition on the tour that Swift would sing a cover of an artist that lived in or was from each state. For Nashville, Swift chose Willams and brought her out on stage where they sang Paramore’s “That’s What You Get.” From being a surprise guest to an opening act, I can’t think of a better glow-up!

May 17, 2015: Willams appears in the “Bad Blood” music video. 

While it had been a few years since Williams and Swift interacted publicly, their friendship proved to still be strong in the “Bad Blood” music video. As a member of Swift’s girl gang, Willams plays The Crimson Curse. Williams admitted that she took inspiration for the name from the menstrual cycle in a tweet that said, “because what is as brutal as a period? NOTHING I TELL YA.” 

Dec. 11, 2020: Williams gushes over evermore on Twitter. 

When Swift surprise-dropped evermore in 2020, fans were shocked but blown away by the album, and Williams was no exception. She tweeted, “she’s got so many incredible songs and her career speaks for itself but I am pretty sure ‘evermore’ is the f*ckin coolest album Taylor’s ever made. Swift responded with, “This made my heart race/double in size/turn into a confetti cloud of petals, thank you so much. And this was so nice to read.” 

Nov. 1, 2022: Swift announces Paramore as an ERAS TOUR opener.

Following the release of Midnights, Swift announced that she would be going on tour for the first time since 2018 and that Paramore would be one of the opening acts. Though they only performed at the Glendale, Arizona shows, Williams talked about how she met Swift and her genuine personality and her drive in the industry 

Feb. 8, 2023: Williams cites Swift as her inspiration for “Running Out of Time.” 

Williams spoke with People and explained how a 19-year-old Swift served as inspiration for one of her newer songs, “Running Out of Time,” on Paramore’s album, This is Why. She went into detail about their friendship and said that the first time they hung out, Swift showed her a closet full of ready-to-send gifts for people she’s thankful for. It made Willams realize that she didn’t have her life together but that she wishes she felt like she had her sh*t together, and that the song is about her idealized self. 

March 17, 2023: Paramore opens for the Eras Tour in Glendale, Arizona. 

After months of anticipation, the time finally came for opening night of the Eras Tour. During their speech, Willams talked about how she met Swift, saying, “I have been able to watch her trajectory. I’m sure you know this because you’re here tonight and you obviously ‘get it’ but there are moments when I’ve talked to people that I’m like, ‘I am not sure that you get how f*cking incredible this person is. This artist is history.”

June 1, 2023: Williams hints at a collab with Swift. 


i’ll literally never recover from this interaction.

♬ original sound – layla

A fan posted a TikTok where she gave Williams a Speak Now-themed friendship bracelet while meeting her. As she puts the bracelet on, Williams says, “Let me just tell you, this is coming at a very interesting time that you’re giving me this to wear.” When the fan asked why, Williams smirked and said, “That’s all I’ll say.” Fans were convinced that she was hinting at a Speak Now collab. 

June 5, 2023: Swift announces a collab with Williams. 

Swift woke up and decided she was going to cause chaos when she released the Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) tracklist on June 5. The tracklist consists of six tracks from the Vault, including the collab with Williams on “Castles Crumbling” and a collab with Fall Out Boy on “Electric Touch.”

“Since Speak Now was all about my songwriting, I decided to go to the artists who I feel influenced me most powerfully as a lyricist at that time and ask them to sing on the album. They’re so cool and generous for agreeing to support my version of Speak Now,” Swift wrote.

With only a month until we get Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) and “Castles Crumbling,” there’s no better time to revisit Swift and Williams’ friendship. Whether you’ve been a long-term fan of both of these music icons or have just begun listening to their music, there’s no doubt that their vocals together will be incredibly magical and a cultural reset. 

Born and raised in Arizona, Kayleigh Shaw is a Her Campus National Writer. She mainly writes for the Culture section, primarily focused on the latest entertainment news, but will occasionally write about life and career, giving advice to a wide array of readers. Outside of Her Campus, Kayleigh was also a part of Rod Pulido’s Street Team for his debut novel, Chasing Pacquiao and completed social media challenges to promote the book. She also hopes to one day write for Screen Rant and Comic Book Resources. where she will continue to use her love of all things pop culture to her advantage. She also graduated from Glendale Community College in May 2022 with an Associate's Degree in English. When Kayleigh's not working on journalism pieces, she can be found writing poems and short stories, reading, watching TikToks, listening to their favorite podcasts, listening and dancing to Sabrina Carpenter and Taylor Swift, watching movies and TV shows on Netflix and Hulu (while crying over fictional characters and relationships.) She would live in a library and avoid the rest of the world if she could. She also drinks coffee like a Gilmore and often goes down rabbit holes researching their hyper fixations.