The NFL made a surprising move when it chose St. Vincent to perform “The Star-Spangled Banner” in a prime-time Olympic commercial to drive enthusiasm for its 2016–17 season.
The ad shows grounds keepers prepping a stadium before a game, over which Annie Clark performs the National Anthem on her signature Ernie Ball Music Man guitar.
But as St. Vincent explains in a behind-the-scenes clip, she’s no stranger to the sport. Growing up in Dallas, she was a Dallas Cowboys fan.
“My parents bought me a Dallas Cowboy uniform,” she recalls. “And I had this vision that I would go to a Dallas Cowboy game fully clad, and they would be scouring the stands going, ‘Who can we get to win this football game?’ And I’d be, like, ‘Me!’ And I would get in and get to play with the Dallas Cowboys. So that’s why I was excited to get the call.”
Clark says she decided to make her version of the National Anthem “bendy and a little bit manic or off kilter, just to represent the idea of what it is to be an American and how we’re gonna be the best version of ourselves in the future in the kind of turbulent times in which we live.”