Though the 2020 NBA All-Star Game, taking place at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois on Feb. 16, was all about the life and legacy of Kobe Bryant, Canada was given its own moment to shine courtesy of Tenille Arts. The 25-year-old country singer made her homeland proud by performing “O Canada,” the National Anthem of America’s neighbor to the north. With a guitar slung around her shoulder, Tenille gave her own country spin on the anthem. Much like Carly Rae Jepsen, Barenaked Ladies, and other Canucks before her, Tenille’s performance brought a maple leaf-shaped tear to the eye to any Canadians tuning in.
For Tenille, this is the second time she’s performed the Canadian national anthem at a major NBA event. She previously sang “O Canada” ahead of Game 3 of the NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Toronto Raptors. “I’m so honored to be back performing the Canadian national anthem again,” said Tenille, in a statement. “I’m excited to stand with the Canadian players and represent my home country for the NBA All-Star game!”
Toronto to would on to win its first NBA Championship, and members of the squad – Kyle Lowry and Pascal Siakam – were picked to play on Team Giannis Antetokounmpo. Tea Giannis’s head coach is also Nick Nurse, the coach who led the Raptors to their first championship. So, if Team Giannis goes on to win the game, give the MVP trophy to Tenille. It only makes sense.
— Tenille Nation (@TenilleNation) February 17, 2020
— Derek Lothian (@dereklothian) February 17, 2020
Ahead of her appearance at the NBA All-Star Game, Tenille dropped by HollywoodLife to discuss her upcoming album, Love, Heartbreak & Everything In Between. “With this album, there were actually a couple of songs that I wrote completely by myself, and those were just extremely honest, and exactly what I felt, I wrote them in like 30 minutes,” she told us EXCLUSIVELY, adding that she usually keeps these type of “extremely honest” songs to herself. Still, there was something that made her send it to her publisher and other people. Their reaction surprised Tenille, and it gave her the motivation to take that musical risk. “They just fell in love with it. I was like, ‘Okay, maybe people do like this.’ Even though it’s so specific to my heartbreak. Sometimes I think the more specific you are, people find a way to relate to it.”
“I wrote a song about my mom and kind of growing up,” she added, “going from being like an angsty teenager and calling my mom some bad names, and then transitioning into her being my best friend and the one that I call for everything, so, that’s kind of what I mean by everything in between.”