Taylor Swift says being “cancelled” after her row with Kim Kardashian was a “very isolating experience”.
After the release of Kanye West’s song Famous in 2016, which references having sex with Taylor, she said she didn’t approve of some of the lyrics.
But when a video posted by Kim K seemingly showed the opposite, she was targeted by a campaign to “cancel” her.
Taylor told Vogue magazine receiving messages like that could be perceived as being told “to kill yourself”.
“When you say someone is cancelled, it’s not a TV show. It’s a human being.”
“I don’t think there are that many people who can actually understand what it’s like to have millions of people hate you very loudly,” she added.
The row gained a lot of attention across the media and led to hashtags including #TaylorSwiftIsCancelled.
The singer said she had to make music about it immediately.
“I knew it was the only way I could survive it. It was the only way I could preserve my mental health.”
In the same year, during the US presidential election between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, the singer was criticised by some for seemingly not coming out in support of anyone.
Taylor says that President Trump “weaponised” celebrity endorsements.
After thinking about it, the singer says she decided her involvement wouldn’t have helped.
“The summer before that election, all people were saying was ‘She’s calculated. She’s manipulative. She’s not what she seems. She’s a snake. She’s a liar.’ These are the same exact insults people were hurling at Hillary.
“Would I be an endorsement or would I be a liability? Literally millions of people were telling me to disappear. So I disappeared. In many senses.”
It would take two years before she’d feel comfortable coming out politically for the first time – in favour of the opposition Democrat party.
Her recent political stances have been in support of the LGBT community – advocating for improved rights and donating more than $100,000 in response to anti-LGBT bills in her home state of Tennesse.
But it’s something she’s also been criticised for, with questions as to why rainbows and gay icons are suddenly all over her music videos.
She says she’s become more overt in her support after being asked by her friend Todrick Hall what she’d do if her child was gay.
“The fact that he had to ask me shocked me and made me realise that I had not made my position clear enough or loud enough.
“If my son was gay, he’d be gay. I don’t understand the question.”
After a few years attracting some negative headlines, Taylor is looking forward to the release of her new album, Lover.
“There are so many ways in which this album feels like a new beginning,” she says.
“This album is really a love letter to love, in all of its maddening, passionate, exciting, enchanting, horrific, tragic, wonderful glory.”