In a new interview with The Guardian, Shania Twain—who ended a lengthy hiatus from the music industry last year with the release of her album Now—described the already well-known story of her current comeback, but also dropped a few surprises.
The biggest of these? The fact that had she been able to vote in the U.S. election in 2016, she would have cast her ballot for Donald Trump.
“I would have voted for him because, even though he was offensive, he seemed honest,” the Canadian singer told the Guardian. “Do you want straight or polite? Not that you shouldn’t be able to have both. If I were voting, I just don’t want bulls***. I would have voted for a feeling that it was transparent. And politics has a reputation of not being that, right?”
Twain, who has a large gay following (she appeared most recently on RuPaul’s Drag Race as a guest judge on April 19), promptly received a deluge of intense criticism on social media.
Me editing my go-to karaoke song list after finding out Shania Twain is a Trump supporter pic.twitter.com/DSCuPauiTT
— Melanie Hawkins (@MelHawk92) April 22, 2018
Trump-supporting Shania Twain denying her gay fans civil rights. pic.twitter.com/VIpx6MCRM4
— Emmanuel Hapsis (@xcusemybeauty) April 22, 2018
So today was the day that @ShaniaTwain was cancelled. To be fair, she was bordering on it with that latest album as it was, never mind today's little Trump-supporting revelation.
— Marc Sherwood (@MarcHasNoFilter) April 22, 2018
Several commentators pointed out that because she was abused as a child — largely at the hands of her stepfather — she might have been more wary of Trump’s honesty, considering the number of controversial allegations involving his relationships with women.
Still other fans did not seem concerned, saying that Shania is a country musician, and that country music tends to have a conservative base.
After the news of her interview broke, Twain issued a lengthy response on social media apologizing for her comments. In a four-part tweet, she explained, “I would like to apologise to anybody I have offended in a recent interview with the Guardian relating to the American President. The question caught me off guard. As a Canadian, I regret answering this unexpected question without giving my response more context. I am passionately against discrimination of any kind and hope it’s clear from the choices I have made, and the people I stand with, that I do not hold any common moral beliefs with the current President.
“I was trying to explain, in response to a question about the election, that my limited understanding was that the President talked to a portion of America like an accessible person they could relate to, as he was NOT a politician,” she added. “My answer was awkward, but certainly should not be taken as representative of my values nor does it mean I endorse him. I make music to bring people together. My path will always be one of inclusivity, as my history shows.”
The singer is poised to set out on an extensive tour that will take her to nearly 50 cities across the United States and Canada from May through August.