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. Diane Wayne (ASCAP, S.A.G.)

    The tremendous talent this is Christina Aguilera and the fact that she was not born in America and sang America's National Anthem with such passion is a tribute to her integrity and professionalism as an artist. OK, she made mistakes .
    This sometimes happens in live performances, and just goes to show that she is human being like the rest of us.

    February 7, 2011 at 7:55 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • ST

      Aguilera was born in Pennsylvania.

      February 7, 2011 at 8:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Dave G

      She was born on Staten Island last time I checked that was part of the United States

      February 7, 2011 at 8:31 am | Report abuse |
  2. mi17mtp

    Just makes me glad I didn't waste a Sunday in front of the boob tube...

    February 7, 2011 at 7:56 am | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Tom

    What a total 'lack' of respect for our National Anthem!!! I have been around for a long time but can not remember a more 'total disaster' rendition of the very song that every American should be most proud. What is the 'problem' of singing the National Anthem in the fashion it was originally structured. A person seeking 'individual and personal attention' has no business singing America's 'National Anthem.

    February 7, 2011 at 7:56 am | Report abuse | Reply
  4. RJ

    She is so absolutely beautiful that most people couldn't care less about a minor flub like this.

    February 7, 2011 at 7:57 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • BiddyBelle

      Although I don't think she should be crucified for a mistake that was a stupid shallow comment.

      February 7, 2011 at 8:03 am | Report abuse |
    • RJ

      No it wasn't

      February 7, 2011 at 8:09 am | Report abuse |
  5. Amanda

    She is going through a really rough divorce right now with a nasty man. Give her a little credit that she was able to glaze over it instead of totally freaking out. I'm sure all of us COMMENTERS would have freaked out if we messed up at the SUPER BOWL. Have some COMPASSION!

    February 7, 2011 at 7:59 am | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Jeff

    If it's going to be done incorrectly, I'd rather hear flubbed words than 1) looks at notes and picks up where left off or starts completely over, or 2) singing out of tune (think Rosanne). Keep it live.

    February 7, 2011 at 7:59 am | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Jezmundberserker

    I agree with everyone. She screwed up BIG TIME! And to top it off, CNN puts a picture of her in which it looks like she's giving the Nazi salute.

    February 7, 2011 at 8:04 am | Report abuse | Reply
  8. JayDeeTee

    Flubbing the n ational anthem is not uncommon, yet experienced, professional, singers ought to be able to get it right. But, the half-time show was just awful!! Someday, the Super Bowl management will get some real talent for the half-time show. They may even consider getting a national anthem singer who is not from the top ranks of the big-money E business.

    February 7, 2011 at 8:04 am | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Koali

    Should be paid according to the quality of the performance. I am sure she demands a hefty price.
    Write a cue on the back of each finger and glance at it. sing it 100 times flawlessly first. If you screw up you start over till you get to 100- and then write a cue on the back of each finger and glance at it. Don't take a chance with the National Anthem, please.

    February 7, 2011 at 8:05 am | Report abuse | Reply
  10. TRH

    She's a hired performer. She was hired to sing the national anthem. She should be found in breach of contract and not paid. And frankly, other venues should consider her failure to do her job when selecting a performer in the future.

    There's no excuse; she's supposedly a professional performer.

    Not to mention all those terrible riffs she does...but that's just a matter of taste.

    February 7, 2011 at 8:05 am | Report abuse | Reply
  11. skeptimist

    I'm familiar with three anthems sung in English. "O Canada" and "God Save the Queen" make lyrical & melodic sense. Then there's that other unfortunate example which, poorly conceived in both structure and message, frequently provokes all manner of aberrant renditions. However, these miserable performances do seem to accurately reflect the state of this nation thus far in the 21st century.

    February 7, 2011 at 8:05 am | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Koali

    Jose Feliciano was the initiator of this – el perfecto! Marvin Gaye's at a Bball game was so wonderful. Want to mention that. Let's go back to straight singing now.It's played out.

    February 7, 2011 at 8:07 am | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Carolinelew

    I never thought of describing those scales added to the National Anthem as yodeling. That is sooo correct, such a good description. I am beginning to dislike our National Anthem, an anthem that used to be so patriotic it would make the hair would stand up on your arms and cause tearing of the eyes. Change our National Anthem and some of the singers (if you call them that) would still mess it up. I don't care about a mistake of words, it is all the crap that is added. Now when it is sung we all run to the TV to listen to the newest version just for entertainment and a good laugh. Hate it!!!

    February 7, 2011 at 8:08 am | Report abuse | Reply
  14. mmnky

    It was awful! I was in such shock, I didn't even notice the flub. She sounded like she was yodeling. That's not the way it was written to be sung. Also, Francis Scott Key didn't write, "grind voice here," or whatever you call what she did. Whether she loves this country or not, she ROYALLY screwed up. HORRIBLE – HATED IT!

    February 7, 2011 at 8:08 am | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Tina

    Marvin Gaye turned over in his grave during her rendition. He delivered one of the most soulful, smooth, and effortless renditions of the Nationl Anthem and it's talked about year after year for all the RIGHT reasons. It was unnecessary to do all that mess she did last night. Yes, she has pipes and can sing, but singing the National Anthem is NOT the time to try to showcase to the world just how loudly and wildly you can hit a note. Awful!!!

    February 7, 2011 at 8:10 am | Report abuse | Reply
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