On Sunday morning, the Guardian published a long profile of Shania Twain, timed to the country-pop superstar’s new tour that will begin next week. In the second-to-last paragraph, Canadian-born Twain revealed that if she had been eligible to vote in the 2016 presidential election, she would have supported Donald Trump.
“I would have voted for him because, even though he was offensive, he seemed honest,” the 52-year-old singer said. “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 bull—-. I would have voted for a feeling that it was transparent. And politics has a reputation of not being that, right?”
Her quote went viral on social media, and hours later, “Shania Twain” was trending worldwide on Twitter. Given that lots of people were not pleased by her comments, the hashtag #ShaniaTwainCancelled had hundreds of tweets.
Twain, the highest-selling solo female artist in country music history, apologized Sunday night after the backlash intensified. She called her answer to the Guardian “awkward” and said that she wished she had given it more context. Twain also emphasized that she does not endorse Trump.
Twain reiterated inclusivity and that she is “passionately against discrimination” because many were discouraged to see someone considered an LGBT-friendly artist say they would vote for Trump, who supported a ban on transgender people serving in the military, among other policies.
These days, it’s very unusual to see a country singer make any sort of political statement, but Twain has operated outside the typical Nashville realm for years. After selling millions of albums in the 1990s and early 2000s (including the hits “That Don’t Impress Me Much” and “Man! I Feel Like a Woman”), she took a break from music; in September, she released her first album in 15 years, titled “Now.” In the Guardian article, she discussed the reasons behind her long absence, including her Lyme disease diagnosis and her tabloid-magnet divorce from her first husband, Mutt Lange.
The tour supporting her latest album will begin next Thursday in Tacoma, Wash.