Shania Twain has apologised after saying she would have voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 US election.
The Canadian singer, who cannot vote in the US, told the Guardian she appreciated the President’s honesty.
“I would have voted for him because, even though he was offensive, he seemed honest,” she said. “Do you want straight or polite?”
After a social media backlash, the star issued a statement saying the comments were not “representative of my values”.
Twain, whose hits include That Don’t Impress Me Much and You’re Still The One, recently returned to the spotlight after a 14-year break, triggered by the collapse of her marriage followed by vocal problems and a battle with Lyme disease.
She spoke to the Guardian as she embarked on her first tour since 2002. The comments about President Trump were not the focus of the interview, but were picked up by media outlets around the world.
The 52-year-old said she felt the President was “transparent – and politics has a reputation of not being that, right?”
Liberal fans treated the comments with a mixture of surprise and anger – with one declaring “Shania Twain’t” – while conservatives welcomed her comments.
Following the debate over her comments, Shania posted a four-part statement on Twitters, saying: “I would like to apologise to anybody I have offended.
“The question caught me off guard. As a Canadian, I regret answering this unexpected question without giving my response more context,” she continued.
“I was trying to explain, in a 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.
“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.”
In the Guardian interview, Twain also discussed her stepfather, Jerry Twain, who she said had abused her physically, emotionally and sexually from the age of 10.
“I’m not going to go into details about it. I don’t mind saying it, because I do think it’s important that people understand you can survive these things,” she said.
“I feel the sexual abuse goes hand in hand with the physical and psychological abuse when it’s somebody you know,” the star said.
“I learned to block it out. Abusers need to manipulate you, whether it’s before or after, and what I said to myself is: ‘OK, there’s something wrong with this person and that person is not well.’ “