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. Doug

    The way she sang the star spangled banner sounded like a gospel hymn inside a baptist church......it stunk.

    February 7, 2011 at 1:40 am | Report abuse |
  2. TreeBark

    she looked all drugged up–probably too much partying at pre-super bowl parties with other millionaires.

    February 7, 2011 at 1:41 am | Report abuse |
  3. ItsCosmo

    I always prefer the anthem when sung "straight", as it is meant to be sung. CA's version would have been garbage even if she'd gotten the words right. During the broadcast, my dad was saying "She's making this about her." Great observation.

    February 7, 2011 at 1:43 am | Report abuse |
    • ed

      Probably true that she was making all this about her, she wanted to surpass Houston's 1991 performance at Super Bowl XXV, the truth is she could have, but the way she handled the whole situation caused this to happen, she shouldn't have been thinking about surpassing Houston or making this the best performance ever.

      February 7, 2011 at 2:53 am | Report abuse |
    • DaveM

      Sing it the way it was written !!!!!!!!!!!

      February 7, 2011 at 5:53 am | Report abuse |
  4. Jacy

    8countnews.com has a video from one of the Steelers on the sideline. Funny stuff

    February 7, 2011 at 1:43 am | Report abuse |
  5. john smith

    In that picture why is she giving the Nazi Salute?

    February 7, 2011 at 1:45 am | Report abuse |
  6. stormy123

    There is NO EXCUSE for not getting our National Anthem correct. No excuse. Its laziness.....thats it. She should have reviewed her sheet music and gotten herself together. Its same laziness sloppiness I saw at the halftime show. Its was horrible. Horribly boring! Last years The Who was incredible and European musicians know how to put on a professional show. The whole thing shows how our culture and society is slowly collapsing and degrading to the point where what we value as Americans is more about money, and physical looks, and fashion, and less about quality, characters, and American apple pie and values.

    February 7, 2011 at 1:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Blogix

      One hundred percent correct, my friend.

      February 7, 2011 at 3:45 am | Report abuse |
  7. rb

    nobody could botch up the national anthem up more than what Roseanne did!

    February 7, 2011 at 1:56 am | Report abuse |
    • ed

      Houston did at Super Bowl XXV.

      February 7, 2011 at 2:57 am | Report abuse |
  8. Dale`

    Take here pay away

    February 7, 2011 at 1:57 am | Report abuse |
  9. Caral From SoCal

    The versions of our national anthem that are the best, are also the cleanest. Classic, clear, good singing, NOT vocal gymnastics. The fact that she flubbed the words is not the worst thing she did to this song today. I have heard her sing all the lyrics correctly...and still didn't like the way it was sung. I guess the thing is...isn't our National Anthem supposed to be about the flag – about the United STates – about being grateful to be in this country? So many singers seem to think it's a chance to show off their voice. Sigh.

    February 7, 2011 at 1:57 am | Report abuse |
  10. Pat

    You would think one would memorize the lyrics before hand, i guess everyone needs a teleprompter these days.

    February 7, 2011 at 1:59 am | Report abuse |
  11. NAVY VET

    They should punish those people that cannot sing the NATIONAL ANTHEM properly.......That's a total disrespect to our Flag and Country. There's only one rendition on singing this and don't change it!

    February 7, 2011 at 2:04 am | Report abuse |
    • ed

      yea they should put you to do it better..

      February 7, 2011 at 2:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Smarter

      Give me a break. It's just a song! A flag is just a flag! It's all just symbolism. Seriously, though, bring your (probably) white, (probably) old, (probably) republican rear over here and try to punish me for singing it incorrectly. Puh-lease.

      February 7, 2011 at 2:33 am | Report abuse |
    • krozar

      Nobody does it properly. Everyone leaves out 3/4th of it!

      ...

      On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
      Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
      What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
      As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
      Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
      In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
      'Tis the star-spangled banner, O! long may it wave
      O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

      And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
      That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,
      A home and a country should leave us no more!
      Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.
      No refuge could save the hireling and slave
      From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
      And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
      O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

      O! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
      Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
      Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land
      Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
      Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
      And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
      And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
      O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

      February 7, 2011 at 2:58 am | Report abuse |
  12. ed

    ANYONE could have made this mistake, it was just a nervous mistake, everything came all right in the end. There have been worst 'national anthem incidents', this one turns out to pass, not like the others which were terrible. Although she can't fix it and this was her only chance to sing in a Super Bowl, she may always remember this Super Bowl XLV....

    February 7, 2011 at 2:13 am | Report abuse |
  13. Army Wife

    Let's just have an instrumental version with the words scrolling across the screen. A stadium full of fans singing their country's anthem would be much more beautiful anyway.

    February 7, 2011 at 2:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Jeffrey93

      Words scrolling across the screen?!?! I thought everyone is supposed to KNOW the words. Isn't that why people are so ticked off at Christina?

      Search on Youtube for 'Edmonton Oilers + Playoff Anthem'

      That is how it is done.

      February 7, 2011 at 3:12 am | Report abuse |
  14. infonomics

    Well, one encouraging outcome from this gaffe is that we now know that America has finally awakened from its apathetic slumber and the comments on this post attest to it. Americans, at long last, like the Tunisians and the Egyptians, are fed up with their respective governments.

    February 7, 2011 at 2:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Bradley

      @Jeffrey93: Many Americans, like the person above are in search of something profound and moving to give meaning to their otherwise meaningless life. S/he longs for such meaning that they are willing to draw a fine line from Christina Aguilera's botch to a international revolt not unlike that in the Middle East and Africa.

      February 7, 2011 at 4:01 am | Report abuse |
  15. ed

    Houston's performance at Super Bowl XXV keeps being the best national anthem performance in history.

    February 7, 2011 at 2:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Sue

      Agreed. Whitney was the best. Christina's was just plain ugly from start to finish, correct lyrics or not. What makes it bad is that she could have done it the way it's supposed to be, but she wanted to "make it her own." she's a good singer, but she wanted to show off, and it ended up being horrible. Just sounded ugly.

      February 7, 2011 at 5:59 am | Report abuse |
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