In an interview with Uproxx, Williams described how both she and Swift have “survived a lot” since they both first achieved success over 15 years ago.
“We know how rare it is to last this long in the music industry,” she said. “It’s amazing what she’s traversed through and not only managed to last, but continue to get better as an artist, get bigger in her appeal.
“We’ve been in this for as long and we’ve really survived a lot, whether that is self-inflicted s**t or just the industry at large and the world at large.
“To be able to play with an artist like her for me represents how long we’ve been at this, and how much s**t we’ve seen. Now it’s time to have a fun summer."
Williams and Swift have been close friends since they were teenagers, after first meeting at the 2008 Grammys, when both were nominated for Best New Artist (an award won that year by Amy Winehouse).
Speaking on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon in October, Williams revealed that the pair got together after some matchmaking by Swift’s mother, Andrea.
"We were at some Grammy party — it was actually Timbaland's Grammy party,” she said. “Huge. I was very nervous, but a woman came up to me and she said, 'I'm Taylor Swift's mom and, you know, Taylor doesn't have a lot of friends her age that do music. And I would love to, like, you know, introduce you guys or get your number.’ Andrea, the legend that she is. She connected us."
In the years since, the two women have collaborated several times, including a performance of Paramore’s hit “That’s What You Get” on Swift’s 2011 Speak Now tour. Williams also featured on the track “Castles Crumbling” on Swift’s recent Speak Now (Taylor’s Version), released in July 2023.
Speaking at the 2010 CMT Awards, Williams described their friendship.
“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,” she said. “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.”
When Paramore’s support slot was announced last July, Swift shared a social media post in which she described the upcoming dates together: “Hayley and I have been friends since we were teens in Nashville and now we get to frolic around the UK/Europe next summer??? I’m screaming???”
Next summer’s dates will not be the first time the two friends have shared a stage. Paramore supported Swift on the opening night of the Eras Tour in March 2023 and Williams once again took the opportunity to pay tribute to her friend.
“I have been able to watch her trajectory,” she told the crowd. “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***ing incredible this person is. This artist is history.”