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. Jarad

    My biggest problem with her messing it up was the words were right in front of her. They were on several screens in the stadium including one that was right in front of her.

    February 7, 2011 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
  2. Katie

    Why have a :"famous" singer sing the anthem? Instead have a local singer sing the National Anthem? There are many more talented singers out there and it would be good for the arena where the Super Bowl is played each year.

    February 7, 2011 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  3. iamacamera

    She got caught in the moment? Bull CRAP. She was so caught up in herself is more the story. They could have gotten someone from a local high school or college or church to sing and they'd have done a better job. Why doesn't she just say "I'm Sorry, I messed up", which is what happened and we all know it. Simon on American Idol would not put her through. I've seen him throw contestants off the show for exactly that screw up. Also, why do I care, or why should I care, that she's won five Grammy's. Maybe they'll come and take the Grammy's away fro gross incompetence. They took Reggie's Heisman away for his misdeeds, why not hers?

    February 7, 2011 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  4. J0nx

    These things happen when you hee hee hey heyyyyy ghettoize our National Anthems like that. Sing it like it was written, not like a ghetto dweller would. Sheesh. FAIL.

    February 7, 2011 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  5. saganhill

    Why cant these so-called singers find a note, then sustain it? Instead they sound like their searching for a note and cant find it. For some odd reason these R&B singers think that cramming as many notes into a bar as they can means they have talent. Not true.

    February 7, 2011 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  6. LynnR

    Too much energy into nothing!

    February 7, 2011 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  7. LdyDragonFly

    She's human and therefore like the rest of us who make mistakes. By the way - I'll bet MANY Americans couldn't stand before MILLIONS and 1. not be nervous and 2. not make a mistake. AND many shamefully don't know all of the words to our own anthem. So let her alone folks. Including you, CNN.

    February 7, 2011 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  8. Reemaskain

    If you do a doubletake on anything weird from a performer in the superbowl, you're probably right. Thought I was hearing things but looks like she really did mess up. Similar to whento what I thought Janet Jackson do, which turned out to be right too.

    February 7, 2011 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  9. Dadsnorz

    At least they didn't ask Rosanne Barr.

    February 7, 2011 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
  10. j

    These morons who can't complete the National Anthem at events should NOT be allowed excuses. "I got caught up in the moment?" The 'moment' was that she was supposed to know the words, and sing it correctly. There is NO excuse for type of screwup. Perhaps there ought to be an audition before a person is chosen to sing our Anthem. She's pathetic, and I would boycott her albums....which she seems to know perfectly. What a loser.

    February 7, 2011 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
  11. Neil

    That dumb fake bimbo. Let's look at the scenario, as I saw it she was standing there like s bump on s log until she realized the camera was on, this was when she was shown as the singer of the anthem, then once aware of the cameras on shs smiles and does those cutsie little waves to obviously no one. Fake blonde hair, canned soulfull singing style, more self absorbed with herself than the song, and after butchering the song adjusts her outfit to do more canned cutsie waving to no one, there's no chance of having a personal interaction, she's in center field. She was just the epitome of hollywood fluff.

    February 7, 2011 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
  12. NJ

    Mistakes happens. Know one is perfect.

    February 7, 2011 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
  13. Chacha

    I think its hilarious that not too long ago it made HLN that a young black girl songs the anthem in her school and upsets people for being "non-traditional" (even though it wasn't) and here we have a celebrity who "sings" the anthem and can't even get the words down right ON TOP of making up lines and words to it, worse than something you would hear from a drunk in a bar.
    It really puts things into perspective.

    February 7, 2011 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
  14. Jason

    I know the national anthem is a difficult song to make beautful, but maybe if she'd spent more time going over the words, and less time working on adding extra syllables to words and generally hamming it up, she wouldn't have messed it up in the first place.

    When will performers realize that they don't need to reinvent the Star Spangled Banner? If it's so boring to just sing it the way it's written, then don't do it. Let some one do it who is more of a professional and less of a performer.

    February 7, 2011 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
  15. Randall

    No excuses. If you are going to sing the national anthem before an audience, you have to know the lyrics perfectly. She needs to go back to school.

    February 7, 2011 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
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