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. Mark

    I'm not a Christina fan to start...

    Seriously, why was this written? So what! I'd rather hear someone fart through something than have then lip sync!... AND THEN.. if she did lip sync it you'd be complaining about that!!!!

    Reporting today is PATHETIC!

    February 7, 2011 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
  2. Douglas S Brown

    It also wasn't actually our National Anthem. Why do performers (and their egos) think they have to rewrite the music? She's not a good song writer!!

    February 7, 2011 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
  3. Senor Ed

    She messed up the first line too. Isn't is "Jose, can you see ...?"

    February 7, 2011 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
  4. sabalog

    People seriously need to get a grip... isn't she going through a divorce right now? Besides as the article said she's done the national anthem before "without incident." She's human and she's allowed to make mistakes.

    February 7, 2011 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  5. Andulamb

    Aguilera said: "I can only hope that everyone could feel my love for this country." No, I could only feel her love for herself. That's what a singer conveys when they oversing a song. When a singer takes a single note and turns it into thirty-five, they are saying "LOOK AT ME!" The National Anthem should be sung straight, with emotion. Let the melody and the words take precedence over your own self-promotion. And frankly, whether it's the National Anthem or not, someone needs to teach today's singers that vocal gymnastics do not make songs better.

    February 7, 2011 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  6. scottinphx

    What was more embarasssing was the lack of respect shown by the players, fans and staffers probably all tweeting about how bad the rendition was rather than standing tall, taking off your hat and showing some resect for our flag and one another. Americans need to learn some manners.

    February 7, 2011 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  7. Mike

    It was a horrible mistake on one of the biggest stages. But, I'll take that mistake over others I've heard in the past (like "who's brought stripes" instead of "whose broad stripes").

    My big issue was the apology, which was ridiculous. Making mistakes happens, even ones as bad as this. Your apology should be apropos to the severity of the mistake, which it wasn't.

    February 7, 2011 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
  8. Mike

    What about the Black Eyed Peas?? That performance was more rediculous. Casio beat keyboard. Dress them up, package it right and call it music. Wow. Is that how far we have come? Keep this autotune, keyboard, bass beat stuff in the clubs with the crystaal......bring out the instruments.....then you can call it music. And keep the scale singing to a minimum please.....it hurts the brain. The voice is an instrument to a certain degree....keep that stuff to the opera singers. Down with the diva movement!!!

    February 7, 2011 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
    • vaprodigy

      Ummm...I guess you missed the 100 piece Marching Band that they bought on stage. If I'm not mistaken, they were all playing instruments and dancing while playing. You speak of musicianship, but I bet you can't even play an instrument, let alone dance a routine, live, while playing one. Shout out to the peas...at least it was better than last year!! And to bring out Slash and Usher was a pleasant surpirse. So calm down...geesh, Prince can't do it EVERY year!!

      February 7, 2011 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
  9. Termater

    ABSOLUTELY SHAMEFUL, YOU DON'T CHANGE OR ALTER HYMNS THEY ARE SECULAR . IT IS DISRESPECTFUL AND SIMPLY NOT ALTERED SPECIALLY A NATIONAL ANTHEM OF A COUNTRY.
    WHEN IS TAMPERED WITH IT JUST PONTENTIALLY SHOWS THE DECAY OF THAT PARTICULAR SOCIETY..

    February 7, 2011 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
    • James Steward

      And Bush and Cheney invaded Iraq and had killed over 1 million innocent Iraqis and over 20,000 US soldiers yet you are treating this white Latina who mess up a line of our Nat'l anthem as a criminal?

      Where is justice?

      She did a wonderful job! Most in here couldnt remember the 2nd line.

      February 7, 2011 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
  10. JJ

    Par for the day. The halftime perforrmance sucked. I mean, it was pathetic.

    February 7, 2011 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  11. Paul Doucet

    i do not care how "tasty" or personal an artist wishes to put forth.
    The national anthem of a country is NOT open to interpratation it is an official anthem . you want to add your touch then sing america the beutiful or something else

    February 7, 2011 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
  12. NoExcuse

    She's Professional Singer, there's absolutely no excuse why she forgot the lyrics. She was paid to deliver that anthem, whether she was caught up in the moment or not, they are trained performers, its not like she hasnt sang in front of thousands of people before. No excuse is accepted here, she should have been better prepared.

    February 7, 2011 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
  13. Lesley

    Everyone should try to be a little more kind and remember that we all make mistakes most of us are just lucky enough not to do it in a forum where the rest of the world can comment.

    February 7, 2011 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
  14. ohshuddup

    no singer should ever touch the pitch, words, or trills of the one song that does not require a personal touch. This is the song of a nation, and not subject to ANY artists foolhardy attempt to jazz it up. The NASCAR patrolman was absolute and serene, just as it should always be.

    February 7, 2011 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
  15. Oh say can you see?

    Can you say, Tosh web redemption?

    February 7, 2011 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
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