Politically conservative commentator and President Trump supporter Candace Owens is no stranger to controversy, making headlines constantly not only for her political opinions, but also for her personal thoughts.
She has been picking fights with artists over the past few years, coming under fire online for her views on gender identity, body image and more. Whether it’s about the Black Lives Matter movement or “pandering” to Black American voters in the 2020 presidential election, Owens has been put in the hot seat by the hottest artists.
Billboard broke down her biggest feuds with musicians. See them below.
Owens blasted Lizzo for posting a nearly nude photo of herself on social media, writing, “If you peep comments on any of Lizzo’s ‘fat acceptance’ photos, you will undoubtedly find a score of batsh– insane women telling her that she looks beautiful. Men do not lie to other men in this way. They do not pretend that clinical obesity is beauty.”
Lizzo hasn’t directly responded to Owens, but she announced her partnership with the Dove Self-Esteem Project to combat the impact of harmful beauty standards on social media. “I DONT NEED SOCIAL MEDIA…SOCIAL MEDIA NEEDS ME,” she shared on Twitter and Instagram hours after Owens’ remarks.
The commentator shared a nearly six-minute video on Twitter in April 2023 suggesting that Siwa is pretending to be gay for attention. “I don’t believe JoJo Siwa is a lesbian, by the way. I want to state that very clearly. I do believe that she’s desperate for attention,” Owens says in the clip, taken from her Daily Wire podcast.
Siwa caught wind of Owens’ video, and the former Nickelodon star tweeted two days later, “I haven’t watched the video yet…. But if it has anything to do with your caption, respectfully back the f— off.”
Owens credited the Yeezy mogul for designing “Blexit” merch — a portmanteau for “Black” and “exit” that mimics Britain’s exit from the European Union — for her movement she launched in late 2018 that encourages Black voters to leave the Democratic party and register as Republicans.
“Blexit is a renaissance, and I am blessed to say that this logo, these colors, were created by my dear friend and fellow superhero Kanye West,” Owens told Page Six at Turning Point USA’s Young Black Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 27, 2018 (Owens was Turning Point USA communications director at the time of the event).
But Ye cleared the air on Twitter a few days later when he denied helming the designs. “I introduced Candace to the person who made the logo and they didn’t want their name on it so she used mine,” he wrote. “I never wanted any association with Blexit. I have nothing to do with it.”
West later wrote the mishap exposed him to the dangers of falsely spreading ideas he doesn’t personally align himself with and announced, “I am distancing myself from politics and completely focusing on being creative !!!” But that obviously didn’t signal the end of West’s political antics as he continued to push forward with his 2020 presidential campaign under his independent “Birthday Party.”
On Halloween (Oct. 31), Owens penned an apologetic blog post titled after the rapper’s fourth studio album 808s & Heartbreak for falsely tying him to her Blexit movement, especially considering how much he means to her as a “superhero” and as a “friend.”
“Listening to music from Kanye West and Jay-Z is what I give credit to having kept my spirit alive on some of the very worst days. It’s a crazy thing to know that you wake up one day and someone whose words and lyrics literally kept your spirit alive is suddenly your friend. God is good. There are so many people in this world who love Kanye West because they know he is great and powerful and cool, but not every person in this world knows what it means to have someone’s rap lyrics literally save you,” she began writing. “…If I had to imagine what it would feel like to have a bullet pierce my heart, it would be exactly like the moment I learned Kanye told the world he felt I had used him. I wouldn’t wish the way I felt last night upon my worst enemy.”
She continued: “I never once said that Kanye designed the t-shirts for BLEXIT. This is a lie that seems to have made its way around the world; a lie I would like to again correct for the record. Kanye was completely right to feel used in that regard and as I have done personally, I would like to publicly apologize to him for any undue stress or pain the effort to correct that rumor has caused him, his business relationships, or his family. He simply never designed them.”
Since then, Owens and Ye have patched things up, with Owens supporting the rapper by attending his controversial Paris Fashion Week show in 2022, and Ye returning the favor by walking the red carpet premiere of her film, Greatest Lie Ever Sold: George Floyd and the Rise of BLM.
The former *NSYNC member called Owens a “fraud” in a June 8-dated Facebook post, which directed his followers to a Business Insider article about GoFundMe suspending her account “after she raised more than $200,000 for Parkside Cafe Birmingham, Ala., whose co-owner called George Floyd a ‘thug.’” In the same week, Owens had uploaded a video on Periscope where she described Floyd as “neither a martyr or a hero” while reading his rap sheet.
“Anyone that uses this a–hole to justify ANYTHING is well, an a–hole,” Bass wrote on Facebook. “This woman knows what she is saying is wrong. She does it to get PAID! Just like that Milo Yiannopolous fraud. #CandaceOwens is a fraud.”
And the conservative commentator tweeted a well-known diss to the former boy band star. “Apparently, @LanceBass —known to most of us as Justin Timberlake’s fourth back-up singer from decades past—has been going off about me on Facebook bc he thinks any Black person that won’t support BLM ain’t Black,” Candace wrote the same day as his post. “Lance, you peaked in high school. Nobody cares what you think.”
But he shot right back in a since-deleted tweet that read, “And btw, never once did I say a Black person isn’t really Black for not supporting #BLM. Again more lies coming from your end per usual. I simply stated that YOU promote racist ideologies that overtly diminish the Black community to appeal to a white ignorant base. Clear now?”
But the *NSYNC-related comebacks kept coming. “Maybe when JT wins another lifetime achievement award, he’ll invite you sing back up again,” she replied to have the last word. “Until then— why don’t shut up. My grandfather didn’t live through segregation so that one day a white boy could to tell me how to behave like a good little black girl.”
The 39-year-old rapper criticized Owens on Nick Cannon‘s Power 106 radio show on June 10 while arguing differing opinions should be more accepted within the Black community rather than to quickly pivot toward canceling them. “We don’t all have the same views. We don’t all have the same opinions of how to move forward on what’s gonna get us to our goal. But we all have the same fight. We’re all on the same journey,” Tip said of the dangers of cancel culture.
But T.I. suggested Owens presented herself as one of the “severe cases” or exceptions to the rule. “Like Candace Owens, she got to go. She can’t come. She can’t come!” he yelled around the 17:20 minute-mark. “I think she a paid plant. I think somebody paid her to come out here and speak against everything that the majority of us is standing for…. She has turned in her Black card and crossed over.”
Last year during the “Black Agenda, Voting, & Donald Trump” panel at the 2019 REVOLT TV summit, he openly debated Owens about her support for President Trump and his “Make America Great Again” slogan. “That was Ronald Reagan’s slogan. Was it racist when Ronald Reagan had it?” Owens asked the crowd, which replied “Yes.”
“I have a question,” T.I. asked her around the 37:30 minute-mark. “When you say ‘Make America Great Again,’ which period are we talking about? The period when women couldn’t vote, the period when we were hanging from trees, or the crack era? Which period in America are you trying to make America like again?”
The Drink Champs co-founder/host posted video snippets of Owens debating trans issues with Temple University Professor Marc Lamont Hill on a June 28-dated episode of The Candace Owens Show with various critical captions. “She is the worse thing to happen to black people ever were u at sis can u say mark hates black people no u can’t say sh– confusion is ya message,” he tweeted a day later. “This is the most dangerous person in America she trying to kill us now not sh– from 30 years ago now she wants us dead ya kids and parents.”
When Hill defended himself for challenging Owens on “the things that make her problematic,” N.O.R.E. argued why she should be acknowledged on a platform in the first place.
Charlamagne Tha God
After ViacomCBS fired Cannon in July for the anti-Semitic comments and conspiracy theories he discussed on his Cannon’s Class podcast, The Breakfast Club co-host commented on the controversy on the July 15-dated “Rumor Report” with Angela Yee. “Listen, Nick is my guy, I hate it had to be him, but that’s what you can do when you have the power,” he said. “And if it’s one thing Jewish people have showed us is they have the power. I can’t wait until the day Black people are able to fire people for saying things about us that we deem racist.”
The political figure wrote on Twitter that same day that although she respected Charlamagne, she thought “his comment that Nick Cannon’s firing proves ‘Jews have the power’ is off base. Did the hundreds of white people who have been fired over these past few months for disagreeing with the radical goals of black lives matter prove that we have the power?”
She continued in her Twitter thread: “Thousands of blacks promoted to comply with BLM. Thousands of whites fired for disagreeing, and everyone pretended it was cool. ONE black man gets fired and now it’s ‘the Jews have power’? Nope.”
Cardi and Owens launched into a political debate of their own ahead of the Nov. 3 election. The Blackout author went on The Ben Shapiro Show on Sept. 6 to discuss how the rapper’s interview with Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden for Elle on Aug. 17 was “pandering” to Black American voters by appealing to their music taste.
But Cardi fought back on Twitter and Instagram with claims that as one of the hottest rappers with a Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 “WAP” collaboration with Megan Thee Stallion last month, she had the right to use her platform to encourage her fans to vote and be politically active.
Check Billboard‘s timeline of Cardi vs. Candace here.
Styles graced the cover of Vogue, becoming the first solo man to ever do so, with a Gucci dress. But Owens wasn’t living for the historic moment. She shared and condemned Vogue‘s images from the shoot on Twitter because she believes “the steady feminization of our men” is attacking Western society. “There is no society that can survive without strong men. The East knows this. In the west, the steady feminization of our men at the same time that Marxism is being taught to our children is not a coincidence,” she wrote on Nov. 14. “It is an outright attack. Bring back manly man.”
The Harries — and Olivia Wilde, who’s directing the 1950s-set thriller Don’t Worry, Darling starring Styles — came to his defense immediately. “You’re pathetic,” Wilde replied under Owens’ tweet.
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