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. kelsey

    wow that is a bad mistake!! i think she needs to practice a little bit more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! PRACTICE

    February 7, 2011 at 8:28 am | Report abuse |
  2. IsItSafe

    More worrying is that Nazi salute she appears to be giving...

    February 7, 2011 at 8:28 am | Report abuse |
  3. Big Game James

    Ooooh! Somebody messed up the war cry!! Let's condemn her!!

    February 7, 2011 at 8:29 am | Report abuse |
  4. Mike

    Every week in school you would sing the anthem. Are people that dumbed down these days that they do not know our anthem? Pathetic. Too much crystal dumbs the brain. Go back to the club. Because thats all music is good for now anyway. Autotune. The worst. I would rather watch a dying performance from The Who again. At least they play instruments. And the Black Eyed Peas?? ?? Go back to the club you simpletons!!! I have a casio keyboard I want to get rid of that you can use.....go ahead....call it music!!....the masses will believe you if you wear cool outfits.

    February 7, 2011 at 8:29 am | Report abuse |
  5. Jeff

    Maybe if the singers (like Aguilera) concentrated more on just a straight "sing" of the lyrics instead of trying to show off how they can carry notes up and down the scales it might not be such a disaster. Do you really need the National Anthem to show off what a talented singer you are?

    February 7, 2011 at 8:29 am | Report abuse |
  6. Steeve-0

    Christina, the national anthem is a pop tune. You gotta nail that one.

    February 7, 2011 at 8:29 am | Report abuse |
  7. jjb

    who cares, she sounded great. good statement release from her as well, it could happen to anyone in that kind of moment. she is no amateur, and there are some ridiculous comments on here. People mess up, it happens. It worked out just fine, and that girl honestly has a better voice than anyone out there right now. Give it a rest about the amateurism and not getting paid stuff.

    February 7, 2011 at 8:30 am | Report abuse |
  8. cavemanstyle

    Hey.... you know what...? .... She's starting to look like Cindy Lauper... WITH the weight 🙂 lolololol... sing as you may, but you still know what you REALLY are 😀

    February 7, 2011 at 8:30 am | Report abuse |
  9. Julie

    If you want horrible performance... turn to Fergie! Who the hell invited her? Least Christina HAS A VOICE!

    February 7, 2011 at 8:30 am | Report abuse |
    • RabiaDiluvio

      Yes but it is a bad one.

      February 7, 2011 at 8:36 am | Report abuse |
    • narf zort

      i was already quite intoxicated when this poor girl attempted to sing that song. funny thing, i was sure that she had screwed it up, but i couldn't be positive!
      and that fergie. she is a great singer. but like most women, i find myself searching for the mute button. she's for looking at, not for listening to. anyway, i'm happy to say that i bypassed that horrible halftime show for the puppy bowl. now that's where it's at.

      February 7, 2011 at 8:44 am | Report abuse |
    • TLL

      True, but what's up with the hitler salute??

      February 7, 2011 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Kim

      This is not about forgiving someone who made a mistake. I would think that being asked to sing the National Anthem would be such an honor that you would practice and make SURE you know every word. She is not a rookie who has never sang in front of a large audience. She says she hopes everyone felt her love anyway. I'm not feeling it.

      February 7, 2011 at 8:48 am | Report abuse |
    • pantarra

      what a dumb blonde ..the funny thing is she thought she was so great ..id say that was the worst singing I ever heard

      February 7, 2011 at 8:52 am | Report abuse |
    • burns.charles13@gmail.com

      Dear debbie wrote about throwing stones. apparently they were all bad shots, otherwise there would be a large pile around little christys feet.

      February 7, 2011 at 8:59 am | Report abuse |
    • DCBuckeye

      Christina is the female version of Michael Bolton - she's a no-talent bimbo who oversings every note. And, that outfit made her look like a bleach-blonde Morticia Adams.

      February 7, 2011 at 9:05 am | Report abuse |
    • sassypants

      Whatever happened to politeness? It isn't the end of the world.

      February 7, 2011 at 9:10 am | Report abuse |
    • JJ

      She obviously hates America or she wouldn't have messed up.

      February 7, 2011 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Dawn

      Yeah, it's just not a very good one. She is all show no talent.

      February 7, 2011 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Eggs Benedict

      Just another bimbo who thinks she can sing. ONLY in America you can customize the National Anthem. Disgusting.

      February 7, 2011 at 9:19 am | Report abuse |
    • jan s

      Stone sober an horrified by th rendition of our national anthem. Not only did she flub the words, the whole rendition was an embarrassment . Without the sound studios and doctoring half of the singers today are pretty bad. No voice just shout.

      February 7, 2011 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
    • JJ

      @jan s: Agreed that most "professional singers" are terrible live, and only actually sound good when their voice has been greatly enhanced by a computer. The age of actually having to have talent to be in the music business is over.

      February 7, 2011 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
  10. Lisa

    The song is beautiful when sung exactly the way it was written - and I don't just mean the lyrics. I'm all for artistic interpretation and creativity BUT, this was never meant to be a song to "cover", people ..... It's the National Anthem. Show some respect for it it you're going to sing it.

    February 7, 2011 at 8:30 am | Report abuse |
    • AmishAirline

      Actually, it was never meant to be a song in the first place. It was a poem. And musically, it's a train wreck. I'm not excusing what this girl did, she's a train wreck too. But it's an awful song. America the Beautiful should be the National Anthem.

      February 7, 2011 at 8:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Switbo

      So true. As my husband put it, "I'm all for a little bit of artistic interpretation, but every syllable doesn't need 5 notes!"

      February 7, 2011 at 8:44 am | Report abuse |
    • runjackrun

      I agree Lisa. The Star Spangled Banner is a hard song to sing and most people can't sing it. That being said, if you even think you can't reach the high notes or don't want to spend the time learning the words, as Christina obviously didn't, then decline to sing it. The super bowl has two teams and each fan wants their team to win but when the song is sung properly it unites the whole stadium. She should hang her head in shame for butchering our national anthem. The only person that gave me goosebumps when she sang it was Whitney Houston.

      February 7, 2011 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Adam

      Thank you.

      February 7, 2011 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Ken

      The National Anthem should be sung with respect and restraint. I cringe whenever any singer tries to "Jazz" it up. If you try to style it, and consequently flub it, you deserve all embarrassment and criticism that is sure to come your way.

      February 7, 2011 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Jennifer

      I'm with you AmishAirline!

      February 7, 2011 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      I agree completely. Even if she hadn't messed up the words, her iterpretation of the song was terrible. Sing our National Anthem the way it was written!

      February 7, 2011 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
  11. larrywi

    I don't know who this girl is, but she definately cannot sing! What a flat out distugusting rendition of the National Anthym!

    February 7, 2011 at 8:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Palmetto

      Hell, you can not even spell anthem right. Who are you to talk.

      February 7, 2011 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Soylent

      Where, precisely, have you been for the last 15 years?

      February 7, 2011 at 9:00 am | Report abuse |
  12. Debbie

    I am just in shock that so many people on here have such ugly hearts. The woman made a mistake. Guess what folks...SHE IS HUMAN!

    How many times on the job have you made a mistake? Never I suppose? Yes, she is a talented professional -but people make mistakes. I can't even imagine the pressure that was on her with all of the people watching. Things happen and for all of you to throw stones at her is just sickening.

    What a sad nation we are. All of you who are tearing her down for her imperfections are a disgrace to our country. Stop the bullying and grow up.

    Ridiculous!

    I'm not saying you have to like her or her "look" or her way of singing -but give the human being a break!

    February 7, 2011 at 8:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Voice of Re@son

      It's the national anthem, you know, that little tune that every American should know by heart. Greg Geraldo was right, in another decade or so Americans won't even be able to tell you what the 'A' in USA stands for.

      February 7, 2011 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Kathy

      I agree with you! She is a human being who was probably very nervous being in front of the entire USA and singing a very difficult song.

      But then again, all the haters out there are PERFECT, I forgot.

      February 7, 2011 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Switbo

      True – people make mistakes, but if my 5 year old son knows all the words, so should she.

      February 7, 2011 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Terrible

      When this is your profession and you are paid in the millions and knew that you were singing this song, practice practice and practice............ she did a terrible job........Not to mention the half time farce, that is another story

      February 7, 2011 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Lilith Rose

      Amen. Tis a sad testimony to the nature of people. Can we "not like" what someone did, rather than "not like" the person?

      February 7, 2011 at 8:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Marvin

      You've obviously never met this self important arrogant rude person.

      I'm loving seeing her go down in flames.

      February 7, 2011 at 8:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Moogie

      yes, she is human, but here is why she has no excuse for screwing up our National Anthem: She had ONE job & that was to sing ONE song. A song she had probably heard a million times and if she STILL didnt know it, should have asked for a prompter or cue cards. She was very unprofessional in every respect (hair, makeup, screaming voice, didnt know MOST of lyrics). She should reimburse any monies paid to her and promise never to sing the song again. Out of thousands of people that could have done the song justice; some idiot let her do it.

      February 7, 2011 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Lauren

      I completely agree! Completely agree with you. Well said.

      People who keep saying their 5 year olds/ kid knows all the words.. put him in front of millions of people watching lol. Geezz...so much bullying. It was a mistake. That's all. it wasn't even that bad. Poor girl.

      February 7, 2011 at 9:00 am | Report abuse |
    • crew md

      I AGREE COMPLETELY!
      all you stone throwers go in front of hundreds of millions of people and recite anything.
      i am not a big x-tina fan at all, but the girl CAN SING. and i thought the sole, simple, beautiful, soulful voice was a wonderful version of the anthem.

      February 7, 2011 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Soylent

      Have a heart. The National Anthem is a musical trainwreck and the lyrics are a mess. It has a reputation in musical/vocalist circles of being notoriously difficult to sing, as the notes are all over the place. Think of all the times you've ever heard the National Anthem performed, and tell me how many of them were 5 star renditions. Of all the sporting events I've been to or watched, and all the other times I've ever heard it sung, maybe 1 or 2 stand out.

      It's a jingoistic poem set over the tune of an old British drinking song and wasn't even the National Anthem until the 1930s. Maybe ratchet down your "righteous indignation" dial, and realize that making a simple mistake doesn't mean you don't love America anymore.

      February 7, 2011 at 9:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Ed Beakley

      Ugly hearts and mistakes that anyone can make have nothing to do with it. She was supposed to sing the National Anthem of the United States of America. She made a mistake, OK, BUT she chose HOW she would sing. NOT OK.
      Land of opportunity, home of the free and the brave. We choose what we want like no other nation on earth. But the Flag and our Anthem are not open to our whims or a vehicle to do an American Idol audition. They symbolize our country, our people and our ability to choose. In this case it should have been a choice of "respect shown." NFL made a bad choice as did she.

      February 7, 2011 at 9:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Dianne

      I would expect to be criticized for agreeing to sing the National Anthem and then do so without any idea of the tune! Our anthem may not be musically flowing, but it is be very soul-stirring when sung as written. Having sung the National Anthem many times for big crowds, I can tell you that it matters to them that you do it right.

      February 7, 2011 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
    • pj

      She did not sing, she screeched.

      February 7, 2011 at 9:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Wow - Really??!!

      Its not that she made a mistake, it’s that she butchered the song.
      When the National Anthem is sung, everyone should be able to sing along.
      How in Gods name could you sing along with that???
      The last note sounded like ice cubes in a blender….Really!!!
      Next year, how about a Military Band.

      February 7, 2011 at 9:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Nikki

      I agree with Debbie. All of you that criticize are ignorant. I am absolute that you people have made a mistake in your life. Probably several. I am also betting that all of you didn't even notice she messed up. Because I didn't notice. Call me a retard if you like, but when listening to her sing, I was also caught up in what the song meant and how she sounded to even notice she didn't get the words right. Plus...those of you who claim she didn't have the decency to learn the song can't read. The article states that she has sung the song twice before this, with out incident. The embarassment of the evening was Fergie. The only people that saved that performance was, Slash and Usher.

      February 7, 2011 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
    • pj

      Bring in the Navy choir. Stop with the Hollywood bimbo's, in fact stop with all the Hollywood imbeciles.

      February 7, 2011 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
  13. Big Game James

    Yeah professional singers are immortal gods!! They never make mistakes!!

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

    Most people polled want our Anthem sang exactly as it was written. And remembering the words is mandatory.

    February 7, 2011 at 8:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Outsource

      I say mate outsource the singing of the national anthem! Lol. Call tech support and maybe they can sing the right words but will sound funky.

      February 7, 2011 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
  15. Big Game James

    More old white rock bands whose fans can't even come to the game because there in a home somewhere, please!!

    February 7, 2011 at 8:32 am | Report abuse |
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