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. Calista

    Once again, ego takes over. Ms. Aguilera smiling and waving all cute like before she mangles our National Anthem. If she had given any thought to the thousands of Americans on foreign soils fighting for HER right to stand there and sing and our right to enjoy a SuperBowl game, maybe she would have been a bit more somber and remembered the true meaning of the song she was singing and not lost focus. Then she has the nerve to comment afterward "I got so lost in the moment of the song that I lost my place," "I can only hope that everyone could feel my love for this country and that the true spirit of its anthem still came through."??????? Pathetic. I was embarrassed for our troops and all Americans. Very sad and very disgraceful.

    February 7, 2011 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      Yeah, I agree. Why didnt' she just apologize to everyone like..."I am so sorry". Instead she is bragging on herself by saying "I hope everyone can feel my love....etc...".....that was pretty selfish sounding.

      February 7, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Chris Cook

    Media will say anything to get ratings....she had to cut the song short, the planes flew over at the exact moment

    February 7, 2011 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
    • BBHLP

      How can you say she "cut the song short"??? If she had cut the song short, she would have left complete phrases out. She MISSED up a line. If she had gotten the line right, it would have still taken the same amount of time as getting it wrong!!!

      February 7, 2011 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Danny Del Rossi

      Thats rubbish! The planes flew overhead OUTSIDE! The game was INSIDE! The pop star was concentrating on her ridiculous vocal gymnastics rather than the words. What a joke.

      February 7, 2011 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Jeff S

      Chris, since you missed the national anthem before the super bowl, why bother commenting on it? The song wasn't cut short at all.

      February 7, 2011 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
    • scorched ears

      She was a screeching mess

      February 7, 2011 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Aquarices

      I wonder how many people like me didn't even realize she messed it up until it was all over the news? Who's paying attention until the actual kick-off anyway?

      February 7, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • bbesq

      The woman sang our national anthem from the heart as she says in her explanation. Her rendition of this beautiful, ageless song was awesome and brought me to tears.
      So, she messed up, so what. An old English saying: “A man that cannot make a mistake cannot do anything at all”. I dare any of the naysayers to try to get up and just read these words aloud let alone sing them.

      February 7, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fred Evil

      "Her rendition of this beautiful, ageless song was awesome and brought me to tears."
      Are you high? Admittedly, she seemed to give it everything she had, with all the extra trilling and voice wavering...but instead of oversinging it, just sing it as was written, that's far MORE beautiful.

      I'll forgive a forgotten line in the heat of the moment, but stop using this song as an example of the vocal gymnastics you are capable of. That's NOT why you are singing it!

      February 7, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Why Do You Need To Know?

      Okay, listen. All of you people know for a fact that if you had messed up your Country`s National Anthem in front of the world, were there are critics just like you people lurking around every corner, that you would be under some fierce pressure. You guys are lucky that some trailer-park hillbilly wasn't up there singing a song about gravy instead! So, stop being such selfish butt-holes by criticizing her every move like the idiots that you choose to make yourselves be, and see it as a pure, human accident that even you could make. Now, I`m not a fan of Christina Aguilera AT ALL, but I know a pure mistake when I see one. So, if you are too big of an imbecile to understand a word that I just said, then let me translate it for you. Shut Up and have a heart! Its the month of love!

      February 7, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • kevin SGT US Army

      Let me just say this... As a soldier in the United States Army I take great offense to someone nothing our national anthem the way she did. I mean I have fellow soldiers in deployment setting making less in a year than she did for that one song and if we forget our job people die, we die. So all this she put her best attempt at it is a joke. She is suppose to be a professional and this is not her first rodeo. So no excuses cause I know the heck if anyone would give a soldier a chance if we screwed up at our jobs.

      God Bless America....

      February 7, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
  3. annsrum

    Oh come on, she messed up the words a little, big deal. She kept going and made it work which is what you are supposed to do when performing. Anyone who says she was out of tune are tone deaf. I am not a big Christina fan and don't always like it when performers change up the anthem, but hers still touched people as you could see people crying (no one was doing that when Lea from Glee sang with next to no emotion whatsoever). I kind of understand people not liking the anthem changed up at all, but at the same point it is almost never done in the traditional way anymore anyway. So chill out people. Last time I checked Americans stood for freedom of all types including freedom of speech etc. So live by that principal mkay?

    February 7, 2011 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
    • American Joe

      Big deal? It's the American Anthem, not a Whitney Houston Drug tune. She is a nasty cag who should go back to Disney as a permanent fixture in the Haunted House..

      February 7, 2011 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Jeff S

      It wasn't "changed up", it was messed up. And its not a huge deal, the article isn't even making a huge deal out of it. Yes, she messed up a line, ok. Done.

      February 7, 2011 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
    • annsrum

      Have you ever performed anything musical in front of an audience? I have and it can me scary and you may not get everything correct just because you are nervous. Even a supposed pro might have issues with singing the national anthem (something people will get really upset about if done wrong) in front of a crowd as big as the super bowl. It's amazing to me how critical people can be when they themselves probably couldn't have done it. Doesn't anyone have any compassion around here? Are you all perfect?

      February 7, 2011 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
    • JC-VA

      NO BIG DEAL..? Are you f'king kidding me..? This is why America is going to the dump, people don't respect anything anymore....

      February 7, 2011 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
    • annsrum

      @jeffs the article is making a big deal about it if they put it bigger than life on the front of their website. I was saying people shouldn't be so quick to call for her head for making a minor flub. It's not like she did it on purpose.

      February 7, 2011 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
    • annsrum

      @JC-VA I was suggesting that as a country would could show a little more compassion for somebody who messes up instead of calling for her head for an accidental mistake. It's not like she did it on purpose to thumb her nose at the country and what it stands for.

      February 7, 2011 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Lazy

      Singing as she did last night makes me doubt if she can pass whatever audition of American Idol!!!

      February 7, 2011 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Seikninkuru

      Big whoop. It's just a poem.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • sunsudo

      this is our national anthem no matter how small the mistake we and she should be ashamed

      February 7, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jack

      She's the one that said she's been singing the National Anthem since she was 7 years old. If she sang it like it is supposed to be sung instead of screaming like a banshee, she would not have screwed it up as much as she did. Maybe she had a little too much drinky before going onstage. After the singing fiasco she was seen falling after leaving the field.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • workergirl

      it was horribly sung, not the way our anthem should be-forget the fact she messed up the words.....who picks these people anyway.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cavalry Medic

      I don't think anybody here noticed that even though she messed up her lyrics, The soldier in Afghanistan we still standing at attention. And even my self, watching the same time, was standing at attention here in Iraq. People mess up not a huge deal. people all make mistakes. The real disrespect I think is coming from the players on the field. jumping around and holding their pads. Last i checked we held our hand over our hearts for the national anthem. To me as a soldier in Iraq that was more disrespectful to me and my fellow brothers and sisters in uniform that Christina Aguilera messing up while singing the song. The media made a huge deal over Obama when he was running for president 3 years ago. I don't see one thing about the players disrespecting this country at all. Last I checked it was a law to hold your hand over your heart till I looked it up and found out that it is a law. goto http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/uscode36/usc_sec_36_00000301--000-.html that is the US penal code for the national anthem and what should be done when it plays. I like to think that people in America care about us over seas fighting war for them to be free and just ask for a little respect for the flag that we all wear on our right shoulder. it's kind of de-moralizing to see people disrespect the flag, the country, and the people that make this country free.

      February 7, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Barry

    Like most, I believe she shouldn't have personalized the song, but as far as the lyrical mistake goes, I'd take that over lip syncing any day.

    February 7, 2011 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
    • so who

      Why take either? Have you been conformed to take one or the other? She was a disgrace and it's time we shamed and humiliated these people into submission. I bet with today's blogs, twitters, facebook and other social media, it doesn't happen again.

      February 7, 2011 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  5. John

    What a horrible arrangement.

    No wonder her last album tanked. Has she lost her mind?

    February 7, 2011 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  6. andres

    How much did she get paid for the rendition ??. I am sure she demanded a considerable amount, so ..... deduct a considerable amount. A fair solution would be as follows: Divide the total amount by the number o lines she sang an deduct one line!

    February 7, 2011 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
    • tv22

      Actually she got paid nothing like the rest of the performers. Pretty good publicity though.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  7. neon indian

    When, WHEN! are they going to quit having people like this woman sing, or more to the point , screech, our National Anthem. I was off the channel and when I switched back there she was blowing her lungs out so I switched right off again until she was done. Never mind blowing a line, she blew the whole damn thing.

    February 7, 2011 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
  8. Alex

    Get a life, she was caught up in the moment and made a mistake, life goes on. Those putting her down, need to remember, nobody is perfect, not even you!!! You were AMAZING Christina, thanks!!! What a voice, thanks for sharing it with us!!!

    February 7, 2011 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Jeff S

      Actually, I could care less that she screwed up one line, but it really didn't sound good at all. She sounds great when her voice is being synthesized into perfection, just like most pop singers.

      February 7, 2011 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Mr Perfect

      WORST performance ever heard! How difficult is it to sing like a NORMAL person instead of screeching like cat getting a solid beating!?!?!?!?
      I'd rather hear a singer just kick off the anthem and then the rest of the stadium take over compared to the horrible vocal gymnastics!

      So back to the trailer!!!

      February 7, 2011 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  9. American Joe

    I never knew the word "American" had 72 syllables. And what the heck is waho-oh-wa-haaa-wo-hoe? I thought the word was pronounced "O". I thought the juvenile voice "runs" faded away with Donna Summers. How 90's can you get? And that hair? Someone in the janitorial department reported missing a broom. Can we please not have a professional singer next time?

    February 7, 2011 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Izzisgirl

      Ummmmmmm . . . the word "American" isn't IN the first verse of the national anthem (it's not in ANY of the verses, actually).

      February 7, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alexis

      AMEN!!!!!

      February 7, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Dixie Normous

    Nothing can represent America..like bleached hair and a tongue ring..

    February 7, 2011 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Fred Evil

      Perhaps the tongue ring bash should come from someone named a bit more maturely themselves, Dixie.

      February 7, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Mark

    She might have been nervous? My bad, I thought that she was a professional singer. She made a couple of mistakes. Not even counting the forgotten line. I like her voice. She should sing it as it was written and I'm sure that it would be beautiful. What I can't stand is how celebrities have made it cool to change the song as it should be sang by adding all of the whalins and whoolins. It just cheapens the meaning of the song. That was mistake number 1. It is the national anthem. It is sung to show rememberance and patriotism, it is not a concert. Show some respect. Mistake number 2 is at the end; the crowd is cheering for the song and the country, not the singer...She should not have said thank you since they were not applauding her indiviually. Like I said, she has a beautiful voice and I would love to hear her sing it as it should be sung. I am sure that it would be breathe taking. People should just quit add-libbing to everything it simply ruins it. Remember, it is not about you; it is about the nation as a whole and the people that founded it and the people that have fought to protect it. If you are so moronic that you can't understand that; then you probalably wouldn't know how it should be sung anyway.

    February 7, 2011 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
    • JoZGirl

      Whitney Houston personalized it and it because the best sang version of all time! Including a hit record! Only thing X-Tina messed up was her clown face tranny look, but that's how she ALWAYS looks. =)

      February 7, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • MaggieJS

      Amen, Mark.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  12. chaseurdream

    Christina was awesome! I thought it was one of the best anthems I've ever seen performed, despite its imperfections. Gave me goosebumps! Nobody's perfect, especially not the posters on this blog. Like to see some of these haters (1) achieve CAs fame and abilities and (2) get up in front of 100 million viewer's and look and sound as great as she did.

    February 7, 2011 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Mr Perfect

      LOL!!!

      February 7, 2011 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Guest1234

      Idolizing idiots is a growing problem in this country. She was born with a natural talent, singing, she didn't use that talent well here, but I can name four people in my life who have acheived greater sucess than this woman. She's a money grabbing, sell out singer...not a role model.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  13. LaughingCanadian

    It makes no difference if she screwed up the words. Most Americans don't know the words to their own anthem anyway! Three out of four Americans in one poll didn't know the last four words of it. BUT, as the whole world has been told, America is number one! At what? The rest of the world is still trying to figure that out! Maybe they are best at making fools out of themselves in front of Billions of People. I think so as there are MANY cases of ignorance displayed by Americans beacuse they know little about the world around them and think the "American way" is right or the best.
    THAT"S why Americans are viewed with distain by a great many in the world.

    February 7, 2011 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Phil

      I fell sorry for you...

      February 7, 2011 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
    • canuckindc

      Wow, you are acting just like all those "ugly Americans" you despise so much. How ironic! No doubt Canada rocks, but not because of people like you.

      February 7, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • SalemNMA

      First of all there a lot of people that have goofed at the anthem and the sad reality is that most people do not know the whole song anyways. However in response to the guy that is supposed to be "our friendly neighbor to the north", dude there are ignorant people in every country including yours, thank god those people usually are not our representatives. Yeah lots of people think the American way is the only way, the funny thing is that the American way is the freedom to do it your own damn way. So chill our, go out back to do some curling and drink some Molson, and if you think we suck so bad quit watching our damn TV shows!

      February 7, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • MaggieJS

      And oh, by the way, Kanuck, the word is "disdain." I'd tell you to look it up in your Funk and Wagnalls (that's a dictionary), but you probably don't have one.

      February 7, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bea

      This criticism comes from a national of a country whose only cultural contribution to the world is poutine. Thanks for that. Just what the world needed. By the way, how many Americans do you actually know?

      February 7, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      LaughingCanadian is making Canadians look bad, indeed, but Maggie and Bea are doing the same thing to their fellow Americans.

      Maggie, you're referencing an American dictionary, not an English dictionary. Canadians speak English, not American. I'll stick to my Oxford dictionary, thanks. Colour, not color. Zed, not zee.

      Bea, name any field you can think of that has any weight at all and I can guarantee you Canadians have made an important impact in that field. http://www.cbc.ca/inventions/
      Even the lightbulb was first patented by a Canadian before he sold his patent to latecomer Edison.

      February 7, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bea

      @Jeff – I wrote cultural contributions, not academic, scientific, etc. My apologies for offending. And admittedly I overlooked things like Strange Brew (best comedic movie ever), hockey, and my husband, who is Canadian. Still don't like pouteen though.

      February 7, 2011 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
  14. David

    I don't mind having celebs sing the national anthem at sporting events. HOWEVER, many of these prima donna celebs make the event (and the anthem) about them. It's not about them, it's about the anthem. The say some of them try to sing it, CA included, is disrespectful. Lea Michele put her personality behind her performance but paid tribute to the song and didn't make it about herself. I was a Christina fan...until last night.

    February 7, 2011 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
  15. Phil

    Only Rosie O'Donnel did a worse job. It's our national anthem – not a love song or whatever the hell she was trying to make it. Screwing up the words was only part of her problems. She took breaths in the middle of phrases and completely chopped everything up. Way too slow as well. And finally – it's the Star Spangled Banner – not the Star Spangled BREATH Banner... And it's a shame because she is incredibly talented and can sing – she just needs to quit screwing around with our national anthem...

    February 7, 2011 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
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