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. j thomas

    Why is everyone making such a big deal over this? Its not like she is the only one who has messed this song up. And if anyone thinks they can do a better job, go do it!
    Lighten up people its just a damn song.

    February 7, 2011 at 7:27 am | Report abuse |
    • BiddyBelle

      It's NOT just a damn song...it's OUR song. Sure hope your not from the states.

      February 7, 2011 at 8:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Polly

      I agree with you. People are getting way too upset over a song. It isn't mystical or sacrosanct. It's a song and she did a lousy job and shouldn't get paid, but that's about it.

      February 7, 2011 at 8:20 am | Report abuse |
  2. A little mercy please?

    Have you guys never screwed up a song before?

    February 7, 2011 at 7:28 am | Report abuse |
    • BiddyBelle

      Sure, but not the National Anthem at the Super Bowl!!!

      February 7, 2011 at 8:08 am | Report abuse |
  3. Angel

    The best rendition of the national anthem (forget Whitney Houston), was sung a few weeks ago before the Packers vs Bears game in Chicago. I think this singer sings it regularly at the Blackhawks games. Very strong, amped up rendition of the song. When he got to the lyric "and our flag was still there," he pointed proudly at the flag. I was completely pumped.

    That's how it needs to be sung EVERY TIME!

    February 7, 2011 at 7:29 am | Report abuse |
  4. Jonathan

    Rotate the singing of this with the armed services choirs. It will be correct.... unedited .... and memorable. Send the "stars" they choose to sing this every year to the Gong Show.

    February 7, 2011 at 7:30 am | Report abuse |
  5. Canadian Jenn

    Here in Canada, a great deal of us know your anthem, word for word. When I was watching your anthem being sung last night, I was sure she sang it wrong. Now I know I was right.

    Is it law in your country that when your anthem is being sung at big ticket events, that it needs to be dragged out as long as possible and sung to sound like cats fighting?? Why can't anyone just sing it normal and the way it was written? I understand your partiotism but singing the anthem like they all do at big events is NOT showing partiotism; it's an attempt to just show off, which often backfires.

    February 7, 2011 at 7:30 am | Report abuse |
    • BiddyBelle

      We don't have silly laws like that in the US....we are free to sing as we want...as bad as it may be!!!

      February 7, 2011 at 8:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Andrew

      I'm a Canadian and I couldn't tell you the words to our national anthem. The anthem has been changed so many times, at the behest of special interest groups, that I no longer know what version is "official".

      February 7, 2011 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
  6. SKY

    WHEN THE WORLD IS WATCHING, YOU GET IT RIGHT!

    February 7, 2011 at 7:31 am | Report abuse |
  7. COMMON SENSE

    The worst...Carl Lewis...add another 100 or so below his version!! Here's a novel idea – conduct auditions among selected performers who can actually sing (without music)...this treasured song is our NATIONAL ANTHEM for goodness sake. I would like to have heard the anthem from the Air Force choir backing the person singing America the Beautiful...as one earlier blogges suggested, as least military performer(s) would sign the song with PRIDE...LOTS OF IT!!

    February 7, 2011 at 7:32 am | Report abuse |
    • John

      Where is Simon Cowell when you need him.

      February 7, 2011 at 8:31 am | Report abuse |
  8. Cheri

    If people actually **sang** the National Anthem, instead of focusing on how many scale runs can be done on one word after another, maybe there would be some renditions to be proud of.

    February 7, 2011 at 7:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Andrew

      She butchered the anthem. The warbling scale runs (which were often flat) made me change the channel.

      February 7, 2011 at 9:18 am | Report abuse |
  9. Just a Guy

    I just find it funny that a lot of people who keep saying she should get the words right cannot get their words right in their comments. Or produce a coherent sentence, for that matter. You know, spell checkers are readily available as plug-ins for your browser so you can avoid the embarrassment of looking like an idiot while you call someone else an idiot in type.

    February 7, 2011 at 7:33 am | Report abuse |
  10. Proudvet

    My feeling is that they should play Whitney Houstons' version over the loud speaker every year and if they want they can have someone lipsync to it. This is the the National Anthem we are talking about, you don't screw around with the arrangement so much that it is almost unrecognizable and you sure as hell don't forget the words! If you can't show respect for the symbolism of this song and sing it as closely as reasonable to the intended arrangement then don't take on the job.

    February 7, 2011 at 7:33 am | Report abuse |
  11. Cheri

    If celebrities actually **sang** the National Anthem, instead of focusing on how many scale runs can be done on one word after another, maybe there would be some renditions to be proud of.

    February 7, 2011 at 7:33 am | Report abuse |
  12. Spence

    It's NOT singing–it's howling! The same "style" is what so many aspiring American Idol contestants seem to strive for, which has nothing to do actual singing.

    February 7, 2011 at 7:33 am | Report abuse |
  13. Sidewinder

    The national anthem is symbolic of American triumph and resolve. People expect that other Americans, especially if they are going to broadcast/sing it in a public forum, should have committed the words to memory and not stylized the anthem because they were "feeling it".

    Flubbing the Anthem is a hard one to come back from.
    BEP was disappointing as well.
    I'm happy the Packers won! Starks if from my neighborhood! 🙂

    February 7, 2011 at 7:34 am | Report abuse |
  14. jimmy

    worst superbowl halftime show and national anthem ever!

    February 7, 2011 at 7:37 am | Report abuse |
  15. Erik

    Here is a wonderful idea.....instead of having all these "pop" stars and other so called popular musicians....how about get someone who KNOWS the anthem and sings it with respect etc...this and the halftime show...another joke. The Black Eye Pea show as horrible...they are another example of only being good when in the studio, and not live. And it would be nice if they actually did their own music....

    February 7, 2011 at 7:40 am | Report abuse |
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