There were a lot of musical moments this past NBA All-Star weekend, whether it was Janelle Monáe putting in work during the celebrity game or Burna Boy, Rema, and Tems highlighting the halftime show. One that stood out most to some people, though, was the pre-game performance of “O Canada” by Canadian R&B icon Jully Black. Her vocal performance went without issue, but it was what she sang that got a reaction.
The opening line of the song usually goes, “O Canada! Our home and native land!” However, Black instead sang, “O Canada! Our home on native land,” seemingly a nod to the Indigenous people who lived in the country before European settlers came over.
Jully Black, NBA Allstar Utah, Canada National anthem, O Canada pic.twitter.com/8hprMNVT6M
— Ifanahkilam (@Ifanahkilam) February 20, 2023
People enjoyed the change. One Twitter user wrote, “Today in #popculturehistory @JullyBlack sings the Canadian anthem at the #NBAAllStar and seamlessly made the lyrics more inclusive while reminding us all, we are indeed on native land.” Another tweeted, “Jully Black just changed the words to the Canadian national anthem by singing ‘Oh Canada, our home ON native land’ and I thought it was beautiful [Canadian flag emoji].”
Today in #popculturehistory @JullyBlack sings the Canadian anthem at the #NBAAllStar and seamlessly made the lyrics more inclusive while reminding us all, we are indeed on native land. pic.twitter.com/6coG4fn4VR
— Marie the Pop Culture Historian (@karmacakedotca) February 20, 2023
— Alice (@ArmoAlice) February 20, 2023
Chuck D dug the performance, too, as he tweeted, “My girl @JullyBlack just kicked the most soulful O Canada i ever heard at 2023 #NBAAllStar game.”
— Chuck D (@MrChuckD) February 20, 2023
Before the performance, Black spoke some about how she was going to approach her rendition: