The song was initially released on April 23, 2007, and it wasn’t long before the track became their breakout single. On March 4, 2008, it was certified gold for 500,000 copies certified. Just a few months later, on Sept. 17, 2008, the track reached platinum status. And it’s just continued to rack up certified units in the time since.
By 2015, the track hit triple platinum status. In 2019, the song passed the four times platinum status, and as of June 2, 2022, the RIAA has the song eclipsing the six times platinum mark.
The song hit No. 3 on the Alternative Airplay chart and crossed over to hit No. 26 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.
Though a hugely successful song for the band, the track fell out of favor with singer Hayley Williams in the last decade. In 2015, the singer wrote in a blog, “Misery Business is not a set of lyrics that I relate to as a 26-year-old woman. I haven’t related to it in a very long time. those words were written when I was 17… admittedly, from a very narrow-minded perspective.”
The song was written in Williams’ teen years, speaking out against a rival for the affections for someone she was interested in. In particular, the singer expressed her distaste for the lyric, “Once a whore / You’re nothing more / I’m sorry that’ll never change.”
And in 2018, Paramore revealed their plan to remove the song from their sets following a performance in Nashville. “This is a choice we made because we feel like we should. We feel like it’s time to move away from it for a little while.” She went on to add, “This is to every bad decision that led us here. This is to all the embarrassing things that we might’ve said but we owned up to [them] and we grew.”
And in 2020, Spotify earned a scolding from Williams when they placed the song in their “Women of Rock” playlist. “I know it’s one of the band’s biggest songs,” Williams said, “but it shouldn’t be used to promote anything having to do with female empowerment or solidarity.”
“I’m so proud of Paramore’s career, it’s not about shame. It’s about growth and progression… and though it’ll always be a fan favorite, we don’t need to include it on new playlists in 2020,” she added. The streaming service removed the song from the playlist after Williams shared her view on its inclusion.
That said, the song has remained hugely popular as the sales tally indicates, and early this year when Williams was invited to be a special guest of headliner Billie Eilish at Coachella, she sang the song onstage with Eilish for the first time since the 2018 removal of the song from Paramore’s sets.