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. Brasil1958

    It was a cringing experience. There is a word in Portuguese I believe which means to express embarrassment for others. It would have been appropriate in this instance. The gentleman who sang at the Chicago Bears game was the one who should be permamently hired to sing it at Super Bowls. His rendition was stirring, powerful and precise.

    February 7, 2011 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Dorothy

      I agree, the man that sang at the Chicago Bears vs. Greenbay Packers game was one of the best I have heard sing the song in a very long time.

      February 7, 2011 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Dee

      its the NATIONAL ANTHEM.... respect is and sing it the way is was written to be sung.. Get over yourself and stop "interpreting" it... best National Anthem this year was Martina McBride at Championship game in Pittsburgh. ALL the words as they are supposed to be sung... not dragged out with lots of pauses and "interpretation."... Christina embarrased her self with her self importance and did not respect the song she was SUPPOSED to be singing.

      February 7, 2011 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      Not only did she stink it up, but she can't even remember the words

      February 7, 2011 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
    • mhamilton

      It sounds like Madonna's saliva might have permenantly altered her brain cells.

      February 7, 2011 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
    • VegasRage

      Look at the bright side, it could have been Roseanne Barr singing it.

      February 7, 2011 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
    • arkagene

      I agree with Dee, this is our song. This is not a song for an artist to "make it theirs". Sing it like Mr. Key wrote it.

      February 7, 2011 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Linda

      It would be so refreshing to hear our national anthem sung in a way that honors what it means. I'm going to check out the Internet to see if I can find the performance prior to the Chicago-Green Bay game. i watched the game but didn't tune in until into the 1st quarter. I'm really tired of "bubble gum" pop singers and rapsters butchering our national anthem and truly tired of the performers who drag the words out to ridiculous length like–maybe have to give themselves time to remember the words–political correctness isn't an excuse to ruin the national anthem.

      February 7, 2011 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
    • mhamilton

      As though we have had not enough, get ready for new wave of blond jokes.

      February 7, 2011 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Ben

      My problem with her redition of our national song is twofold.

      First of course she botched the words. That is forgivable and can happen to even the best of performers. What is worse however was her delivery in general. It was terrible. Why cant people sing the song as it was written. The vocal gymnastics that artist do is shear butchery. Not to mention illegal. Believe it or not there is a law that forbides the singing of the song in any way other than as it was written. It's high time that law was enforced.

      February 7, 2011 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
  2. lolasmama

    And she makes millions to sing. Some people just can't sing this song the way it is supposed to be sang. Obviously the words mean nothing to her. Awful performance.

    February 7, 2011 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
    • cindy

      Didn't notice she messed up the words, but i thought her performance was terrible.

      February 7, 2011 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Linda

      Fortunately I'm not forced to watch her perform and that's a blessing. The limited exposure I've had to her "talent" convinces she's a master of the awful performance. Amazing what teeny boppers and others will pay money to see and/or hear.

      February 7, 2011 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
    • buffy420

      You know honestly it really frosts my cookies that ENTERTAINERS are paid so much. They are NOT saving lives or changing or defending our counrty they SIMPLY look pretty on tv or sing and dance. There are SOOOOo many people who live below the poverty line and yet these STARS (I shake my head at the word) are completely ok with spending THOUSANDS of dollars on shoes and handbags and jets...its absolutly disgusting! I say raise the wages for the people fighting for and defending our country and make these people live like human beings and not like dieties strapped on to golden pedestals!!

      February 7, 2011 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  3. whocares.com

    looking through these comments i've noticed that some of you can't even spell correctly and you're worried about this stupid song!!!

    February 7, 2011 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Adam

      It's not your Anthem or sporting event so shut the hell up.

      February 7, 2011 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Yazhol

      Stupid song? It's our National Anthem you bozo!

      February 7, 2011 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
    • The Drummer

      From the contorted looks on her face throughout the song, it appears she too couldn't stand her singing!!

      February 7, 2011 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
    • W. Mounir

      If this is a stupid song, please leave this country and go find some where else to live and respect their National Anthem

      February 7, 2011 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
    • blue

      Go back under your rock. Thanks.

      February 7, 2011 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Bill - Menasha WI

      Where you from? Egypt?

      February 7, 2011 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
    • JJ

      noot eberone speels as gode as you can speel. Dus dat mak yuo beter?

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

      spell check please?

      February 7, 2011 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
  4. Anthony

    Karaoke the National Anthem during sporting events by putting it in English up there for all to sing along. Solves the problem from it being messed up and someone trying to "Diva" out!

    February 7, 2011 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
  5. jorge washinsen

    Many people,especially some of the old who can neither read nor write, know when this song is murdered.

    February 7, 2011 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
  6. Ronan The Barbarian

    Love the photo above for this story. The flag bearers are breaking themselves laughing!

    February 7, 2011 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
  7. Brent

    Christina was working for the mafia, just helping them cover their Vegas bets. From The Spread –

    National Anthem Odds: Considering she skipped an entire verse of the National Anthem, some bettors may be ticked that Christina Aguilera went under the 1 minute, 54 second mark for length of the Star Spangled Banner from start to finish. An over wager was -170, while an under wager was +130. She did hold the note “Brave” for over six seconds, however, which netted a winning bettor $100 on a $120 bet.

    February 7, 2011 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
  8. bruce

    The NFL should stand for "Never Fail to Lose" when it comes to entertainment of any kind. Thanks for embarrassing our country on the world stage. Thanks for not seating 400 paid ticket holders. Thanks for the stupid "excessive celebration" penalty on one of the Packer's touchdowns. ... And THANKS For the LOCKOUT after BILLIONS, and BILLIONS, and BILLIONS of dollars made on your franchise from your loyal customers!!!

    February 7, 2011 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Brent

      The first embarrassment came when they announced this as the "Worlds Largest Stage" . . . have they not heard of The World Cup? Oh, wait, that is the "real" football.

      February 7, 2011 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
    • ablaze

      The world wasn't watching, though. Americans are the only ones who watch pass and run ball. Besidess, why would other countries care if someone messed up our anthem?

      February 7, 2011 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
    • acnyc

      The people who missed out on those seats either got an upgrade at no charge or were given 3x the face value in return. The penalty was a good call because he went to his knees in a "praising manner". The nfl had nothing to do with christinas hackjob, BUT there will be a lockout

      February 7, 2011 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
  9. wizz

    I think part of the problem she had trying to keep her place was that she, as many others have attempted, tried to stuff as many distinct notes into the anthem as possible. Is there a Guinness record for this? I would rather have someone flub the singing while trying to get it right and partaking the feeling then have someone botch both the notes and the lyrics.

    February 7, 2011 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Madmike

      No kidding. Why don't they just sing it like it is rather than do their own interpretation. But I guess a stage with 100 million viewers is just too tempting, so we hear all the painful embellishements.

      February 7, 2011 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
  10. Alina77

    She has no voice people, I don't care about stumbling over the words, its hard anthem to sing in the first place, her voice sounded like "bull's mooo in the mating season". That's what happens when too much of leap singing, you loose your voice (if she ever had one).

    February 7, 2011 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
  11. Dan Bednarik

    Don't pay her.

    February 7, 2011 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
  12. Jamie

    I hate the fact the singers try to "rewrite" the song, but come on that was the worst national anthem ever sang! Find someone better next time, you would think for the amount of money they paid her she would have done a hell of a beter job

    February 7, 2011 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
  13. Levi

    Hey I'm posting because I'm a moron! And I'm unemployed! Give me a job!

    February 7, 2011 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
  14. Julia

    Who cares, it's just a song. Big Deal

    February 7, 2011 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Yazhol

      Just a song??? It's our NATIONAL ANTHEM!

      February 7, 2011 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Proud American

      It's not just a "song" it's and anthem...... it represents this country. If you do not like this "song" or this country, then get the hell out and go sing whatever 'song' makes you proud.

      February 7, 2011 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Proud American

      You are an idiot. Move back to Iraq or Iran.

      February 7, 2011 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
    • lolasmama

      You are what is wrong with this country. You have no pride or respect for the people that have died and fought for this country. Take a minute and listen to the words and if you still don't get it ask your grandparents.

      February 7, 2011 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Beel

      Who cares? See replies below your moronic post.

      February 7, 2011 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
    • hack job

      It’s not just a song, it’s our national anthem and it stands for something. People do make mistakes but she was getting paid to sing one very important song and she hacked it up.

      February 7, 2011 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
    • KRS

      I'm proud to live in this country but before you tell someone to leave this land, you have to remember who the true Natives are. For the majority of us our ancestor are from another land

      February 7, 2011 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
  15. Guerrina

    Caught in the moment? Not so professional....shameful & pitiful.

    February 7, 2011 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
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