Aguilera flubs national anthem at Super Bowl
February 6th, 2011
09:31 PM ET

Aguilera flubs national anthem at Super Bowl

O say, can Christina have a do-over?

Christina Aguilera helped kick off Sunday's Super Bowl with a singer's nightmare, flubbing the words of "The Star-Spangled Banner" about 40 seconds into the song as tens of millions prepared to watch the game between the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Standing at midfield at Texas' Cowboys Stadium, the singer-actress mixed a previously sung clause with the one she was supposed to be on.

Here's what she sang, with the error in bold:

"O say can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hail’d at the twilight’s last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight
What so proudly we watched at the twilight’s last [unintelligible].”

That fourth line was supposed to be: "O'er the ramparts we watch'd were so gallantly streaming."

In a statement released by her publicist, Aguilera explained what happened:

"I got so lost in the moment of the song that I lost my place," the singer said. "I can only hope that everyone could feel my love for this country and that the true spirit of its anthem still came through."

Aguilera isn't the first person to have trouble with the song, as Time magazine's "Top 10 Worst National-Anthem Renditions" will remind us.

The list includes Michael Bolton's effort at a 2003 playoff baseball game in Boston's Fenway Park, where he had to pause midsong and check some notes before correctly getting through the same line that troubled Aguilera.

Aguilera sang the national anthem twice during last year's NBA finals. She delivered both performances without incident.

- CNN's Denise Quan contributed to this report.

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Filed under: Celebrity • Football • Pro football • Showbiz • Sports
soundoff (2,138 Responses)
  1. Billy Z

    Whoa – OK... I just read she started singing the SSB when she was 11 at Pittsburgh Penguins games. So, no excuses accepted!

    February 7, 2011 at 12:01 am | Report abuse |
  2. lolarites

    Horrible, just horrible. A wannabee from Idol could have done better. The Peas were bad too, terrible song, terrible costumes. The ads weren't even funny. Oh well, can't kill 'em every year. At least the team I wanted to win did win.

    February 7, 2011 at 12:02 am | Report abuse |
  3. jeff

    The halftime show was the biggest piece of crap that I have ever witnessed at any superbowl bar none, I even like the wardrobe malfunction better than this. and it was disgraceful. Hope the NFL didn't pay to much for this ridiculous Performance, the girl singing with the peas can't sing period. I would rather hear a dog ball than her attempt at singing. And I agree with most on this site, Just sing the anthem and get off the field. Hell just play a good recording and move on, why do we have to listen to these terrible renditions ?

    February 7, 2011 at 12:03 am | Report abuse |
  4. Marley

    We missed the screw-up of the lyrics because we muted the cow after the first 2-3 moo's! Who the hell actually PAYS to hear her yodel?? Awards?? Oh, please........................ Either agree to sing it as written with some respect or just say 'no thank you' to the offer. What we heard was hideous; she should go into hiding until about 2020!

    February 7, 2011 at 12:03 am | Report abuse |
  5. Patrick

    Some people do, while other people talk about what was done. I served in the Air Force for 20 years, served in Iraq and Afghanistan. The National Anthem sounds sweet no matter how you sing it, as long as you are putting forth an honest effort. And yes I have song it on stage in front of a room full of people, not easy. Instead of criticism we should say, we have a great National Anthem.

    February 7, 2011 at 12:04 am | Report abuse |
  6. Chicken

    NASCAR has the same problem with pop and country singers coming in and destroying the song.

    Corporations just don't care about the National Anthem and neither do Liberals. Wow something they have in common.

    February 7, 2011 at 12:04 am | Report abuse |
  7. Scott

    I'm cool with a little vocal flourish every here and there, to "make it your own." But this business of punctuating every single phrase with a run and a trail that go up and down and in and around the melody... it's complete overkill, and it's not even pretty. It makes every performance sound like an audition, like, "Look what I can do!" to which I say, "Just because you can doesn't mean you should." 🙂

    February 7, 2011 at 12:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Ruby Stack o'Lee

      VERY true! 🙂

      February 7, 2011 at 12:15 am | Report abuse |
  8. Ken

    Wow, you know what's even more annoying than a crap singer farting up a great tune? People who post the same friggin comment 40 effin times! Get a life, no one cares.................

    February 7, 2011 at 12:06 am | Report abuse |
  9. Peter

    Hail hitler?

    February 7, 2011 at 12:08 am | Report abuse |
  10. Briana

    I completely understand. I was trained for 5 years to sing the national anthem (and Canadian anthem) and I still get caught up in the words sometimes. It's only the most difficult song you could sing! Besides, she still did it justice, in front of thousands of people and millions of viewers, and didn't crack after making the mistake.

    February 7, 2011 at 12:09 am | Report abuse |
  11. John

    The best rendition ever: 1999 NBA Finals in Chicago. Eddie Vedder's baritone is powerful.End of story.

    February 7, 2011 at 12:09 am | Report abuse |
  12. #1 Christina Fan

    Lay off the woman. I could barely get the job done if I knew the words back and forth. Easy to criticize when 99.9% of everyone here could even muster a fair shake at the deal. I still love her, hope she is on the market one day. Go Pack Go!

    February 7, 2011 at 12:10 am | Report abuse |
  13. Ruby Stack o'Lee

    My gift to the world: my parents reaction to the super bowl halftime show http://rubylee1776.wordpress.com/2011/02/06/parents-critique-super-bowl-halftime-show

    February 7, 2011 at 12:12 am | Report abuse |
  14. Sophie

    This was a real shame.

    February 7, 2011 at 12:15 am | Report abuse |
  15. descartesnh

    The ultimate responsibility lies with those that chose her to perform and approved of her rendition in sound check. What should be done is to tell the performers that in hiring you we expect The National Anthem to be sung as it is intended by the arrangement on the sheet music. (Whether or not the original melody is from a tavern song, or if the singer's supposedly talented enough to embellish it...) Just because there's a diversity of music styles in our country doesn't mean our Anthem shouldn't be sung with the reverence and respect our country deserves....

    February 7, 2011 at 12:16 am | Report abuse |
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