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. Ernest

    I didn't even notice she messed up the words, her performance was so bad that I couldn't understand most of it the way she was screaming it. She is a great singer, but don't try to completely change everything about the song by screaming it. Even if she had gotten the words right, the performance still sucked.

    February 7, 2011 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
    • NJPat

      Totally agree here!

      February 7, 2011 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
  2. schoolsub

    Let's stop engaging pop musicians for the singing of the National Anthem. Most of them are freaks anyway. We need vocalists who know how to sing it in the traditional manner.

    February 7, 2011 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Bret

      I agree.

      February 7, 2011 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
  3. A CNN Reader

    This is what happens when you stop singing it in the schools... Tell me America.. HOW'D THAT WORK FOR YA??? How many times do "professionals" have to screw something up before the organizers realize that just because someone is a "professional" it doesn't mean squat???

    February 7, 2011 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
  4. Lorenzo

    This is what happens when celebrities who are not classically trained singers take on things outside their little pop music genre. ANY of the thousands of underemployed American opera singers could have sung the Star Spangled Banner perfectly. How about putting one of those people to work who really could use the job?

    February 7, 2011 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
  5. Summer819

    It happens. No need to crucify her for it.

    February 7, 2011 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Bret

      Hang her anyway.

      February 7, 2011 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
    • schoolsub

      She's a freak.

      February 7, 2011 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
  6. atypical

    anthems are archaic
    never cared for ours. "and the rocket's red glare, and bombs bursting in air. . . ." it glorifies violence.

    February 7, 2011 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
    • schoolsub

      and your point is???? The poem that Francis Scott Key penned was a celebration of our nation's military surviving in a battle of the WAR of 1812. The key word is 'WAR'. Nothing wrong with that!

      February 7, 2011 at 9:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Yet typical ignorance

      You really have no clue what our anthem is about or represents, do you? Glorifies violence? Please educate yourself.

      Her rendition was atrocious, and that was before she screwed up the words. Leave the anthem to the military vocalists.

      February 7, 2011 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      I'm so appalled at your comment. Do you realize that the National Anthem of the USA doesn't glorify violence at all? It tells that story of our national resilience in even the most severe of crises. It tells the story of the U.S. surviving the unwavering onslaught of the world's superpower at the time, Great Britain. The author mentions that after a long bombardment our flag was still standing, a symbol that we will not fold under pressure. We were defending ourselves in this battle and in the war because of British impressment of our citizens sailing on our merchant vessels. So, YOU please educate yourself and have some respect!

      February 7, 2011 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
  7. Percy

    Nope, we were all spoiled/wowed by Whitney Houston's rendition at Tampa stadium a few years back.

    February 7, 2011 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
  8. booblyboobly

    Maybe just sing the anthem the way it was meant to be sung, and NOT add all the pop "yeahyeah ah yeahs" in there, and you wouldn't forget the lyrics....that SUCKED.

    February 7, 2011 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
  9. anonymous

    Asking a celebrity to correctly sing the National Anthem at an American sporting event in 2011 has become about as effective as politely asking Al Queda to correctly recite the pledge Allegiance to the flag of the USA.....nobody can be bothered to do it right anymore!

    February 7, 2011 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
  10. N. .A. Sabre

    It was a DISGUSTING rendition of the national anthem but then whenever a performer thinks they have to 'modify' it and make something other than the original it always turns out that way. They try to make it about themselves. Even the players and coaches shown on tv during her performance looked confused by it. But then on the other hand there were players saluting during America The Great???

    February 7, 2011 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
  11. JB

    The definition of a professional singer is that they can't possibly get lost in the moment. Amateur!

    February 7, 2011 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
  12. Todd

    Yes, she flubbed her lines, but her rendition of the song was quite good. In fact listening to her was 10 times better than listening to that lousy half time show.

    February 7, 2011 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Steven

      While I agree that the half-time show was terrible, the national anthem wasn't a whole lot better.

      February 7, 2011 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
    • schoolsub

      She stunk just as bad as the Black Eyed P!ss.

      February 7, 2011 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
  13. Steeve-0

    Aguilera? She looks like a Cyndi Lauper stunt double. I'll have another cup of bleach for my hair, please.

    February 7, 2011 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
  14. Steven

    The rendition was terrible and messing up the words only made it worse. Anybody who sings the national anthem should make it a priority to get the words right before putting any sort of flair on the vocals.

    February 7, 2011 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
  15. NJPat

    What a terrible rendition. She was trying to show off her voice and ruined a patriotic song!

    February 7, 2011 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
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