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. CS

    It's the stylizing... I'd imagine that if singers concentrated on the anthem instead of over-vocalising and personalising (because, after all, these celebs are bigger than the anthem, aren't they?) they could get the lines right. As a Canadian, I'm still trying to forgive Nikki Yanoksky for the appalling rendition of "Oh Canada" at the Olympics, but I try to remember she was only 15 or so and was probably told what to do. Nobody could sing along to that garbage, and aren't we supposed to be able to sing along to OUR anthems? These celebrities cheat everybody when they fancy themselves bigger than their home country.

    February 6, 2011 at 10:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jered

      I'm with you all the way! Artists need to keep the purity of the anthem and not remix it in attempts to show off their skills. We know you can sing – thus you are on stage – so just give us our original anthem unaltered.

      February 6, 2011 at 10:28 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Wardlamb

    she must be embarassed.my fave rendition was Cher her partner in the film Burlesque.Over singing has killed several modern singers,ala Mariah Carey.

    February 6, 2011 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
  3. splasher6

    I think she was high... I hate it when Hollywood takes over football. Black eye peas sucked too

    February 6, 2011 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse |
  4. sosupernova

    I wish the promoters would have a rousing band play the national anthem or get a trained opera singer to sing it in a straightforward way without all the curlicues after each phrase that these popular singers have opted to incorporate. The blues style of these pop stars is old and tired at these events, particularly if the singer isn't black.

    February 6, 2011 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
  5. tp

    A damn disgrace, she is a moron!

    February 6, 2011 at 10:13 pm | Report abuse |
  6. deb

    With massive unemployment, Egypt in chaos, and pretty much the whole world going down the toilet, I hardly think it matters.

    February 6, 2011 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alan

      Maybe the little things matter, Deb

      February 6, 2011 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
  7. kevinh

    I am amazed that some people in this forum don't know Staten, Island, NY, is part of USA.

    February 6, 2011 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Really???

      Really? Are you sure? 😉

      February 7, 2011 at 12:00 am | Report abuse |
  8. LauraJ

    Next time, a little more practice for an important gig please, even if you are a superstar.

    February 6, 2011 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Trevor C.

    Terri, do us a favor and go f*&k yourself...goodnight

    February 6, 2011 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Arturo Rodriguez

    It's not the end of the world... but, if your job is to sing the National Anthem, then you should learn the words.
    I know its tricky, but that is why you get the big bucks.

    February 6, 2011 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Hunter Howard

    Mexico actually has the longest national anthem in the world ... it's beautiful but looooooong.

    February 6, 2011 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Three Dog Mama

    I turned off the sound the second she started screeching. I muted the sound also when America the Beautiful was sung. People, learn these songs. They are our heritage. And our National Anthem can be sung correctly and not screeched. The person who sang our National Anthem isn't even an American. Next time guys pick someone from America who can sing.

    February 6, 2011 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • SirCheese

      She is American moron....

      February 6, 2011 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Hari

    Hey Kate, I beg to differ but our national Anthem comes from a very moving story about how our countries fighting prisoners were being held in the hull of ships watching as the bombs were going off outside wondering if when the sun rose, our flag would still be waiving over the land of the free and the home of the brave. We'll, all these many years later, I am proud to say, that YES, the flag does still waive proudly o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave. God Bless America.

    February 6, 2011 at 10:18 pm | Report abuse |
  14. ingrid

    Agreed - over stylizing the anthem makes it sound like it's sung by a "cat on a hot tin roof". Sing it straight, get the words right, and everyone will be happy.

    February 6, 2011 at 10:18 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jane Kelly

    I'm so sick of singers who just want to show off what they can do with their voices, rather than just singing the song. Deliver the song, not a show-off session!

    February 6, 2011 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • kathy

      She certainly showed us what she could do with hers and it was awful!!

      February 6, 2011 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse |
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