DFW Music News

Yeah, Why Hasn't St. Vincent Sung the National Anthem at a Cowboys Game By Now?

St. Vincent embraced 1970s glam and grit with her album, Daddy's Home.
St. Vincent embraced 1970s glam and grit with her album, Daddy's Home. Zackery Michael
National treasure St. Vincent has made Texas proud with her talent, voice and career. The artist, born Annie Clark, developed a love of and meticulous craft for music in Dallas, and she became a major contributor to her hometown's music community. Her Grammy-winning work has certainly elevated our city.

This shouldn't be news to anyone who spends time in any of Dallas' music venues. However, a question about St. Vincent came up recently that gobsmacked us — mainly because no one's really asked it before and the question was long overdue.

St. Vincent sat in with the band Stay Human on Wednesday night's episode of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert while band leader Jon Batiste is on a summer break. Colbert and St. Vincent had a little post-commercial-break banter following Colbert's opening monologue, and the two got to talking about her hometown.

"I find that whenever I tell people I'm from Dallas, they tell me, 'Oh, I love Austin,'" St. Vincent said on the late-night show.

Then just like every small-talk conversation anyone from Dallas has ever had with someone from outside the state, Colbert asked about the Dallas Cowboys. Ugh, don't ask.

Then Colbert brought up a question that feels like it should've been asked by now, at least by someone in our city other than, of course, St. Vincent.
"Have you ever sung the National Anthem at a Cowboys game?" Colbert asked.

"No," the singer replied, "but I've been trying to. They have never taken me up on my offer.”

Just let that sink in for a minute. St. Vincent has never sung the National Anthem prior to a Cowboys game, not even a meaningless preseason game that only serves to start the pain of following the Cowboys before the season has already begun. And she's been offering, which means she's actually been turned down. This feels like an unjust crime against one of Dallas' greatest citizens and needs to be corrected immediately.

Colbert seems to understand this. The host turned to the camera to plead with the Cowboys, saying they’re “passing up an enormous opportunity” and they should consider the offer before St. Vincent goes off to sing  the National Anthem for “whatever Austin’s football team is.”

St. Vincent isn't just a local celebrity. She's changed the music industry for women and independent voices who often get swallowed up by greedy, music-eating machines such as the Recording Industry Association of America and streaming platforms. Her songs have brought meaning, depth and real purpose to mainstream pop, even as she stays true to her independent roots. This is no small task these days, when musicians are competing against waves of independent labels and anyone with a decent microphone and a Soundcloud account.

It gets worse when you look at the list of names and groups who've been invited to sing the National Anthem by the Cowboys over the years before they even gave St. Vincent an ounce of consideration. There's Cam Anthony from the 20th season of The Voice. He's got a great voice, but it feels like every reality show winner and/or runner-up gets to do this by now. The boy band Big Time Rush, who took the Monkees' route to musical stardom by starring in a Nickelodeon show, sang before the annual Thanksgiving game in 2011. Do we even need to mention the time that singer Kat DeLuna turned the National Anthem into the screeches of a drunk bachelorette walking on stage at a piano bar who thinks she's the star of her own Beyoncé tribute show?  This is just the latest grievance to add to our long list of reasons to be mad at Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. The least he can do for this city is to finally recognize St. Vincent during his team's upcoming season. It might distract him from pretending that he's the team's real coach and constantly asking the public to fork over more money. The fans need something to look forward to before the inevitable sea of disappointment drowns us all. 
KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Danny Gallagher has been a regular contributor to the Dallas Observer since 2014. He has also written features, essays and stories for MTV, the Chicago Tribune, Maxim, Cracked, Mental_Floss, The Week, CNET and The Onion AV Club.