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. old enough to remember

    Exactly when was a change made from the audience/sport fans all singing the national anthem to a single celebrity/volunteer singing (or attempting to sing) the national anthem with the audience standing mute? This may be the time to begin returning to the former way.

    February 7, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  2. yanni

    She also messed up the last line of the song; singing "land of the brave" instead of "land of the free". I didn't think it was among the best performances ever at the super bowl.

    February 7, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  3. AlfieB

    US Troops being sent to Egypt.....think there's gonna be more " Flag wavin' and Moms apple pie"

    February 7, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jon Derby

    She's a professional. She gets paid to NOT get lost in the moment and to sing it right.

    February 7, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Linda

    Yes, she should be ashamed and that alone is all she needs. All the criticism will not help anyone, besides it is not like she done is on purpose and I am sure she is humiliated enough! I hear they do not get paid for SuperBowl?

    February 7, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  6. lefty shmefty

    horribly overdone anyway regardless of how f'ed up it ended up. just sing it. there's no freakin reason to take a 2 minute song and turn it into a 10 vibrato.

    February 7, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Angoot

    She was being overly indulgent, why she lost her place.

    February 7, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Viperfreak2

    Oh Christina: This song is not in Moulin Rouge! It Ain't DIRTY. It was not "Beautiful".

    Francis Scott Key wrote notes on a page, and you should sing those same notes. The constant up and down on every friggin' note may be your style, but you ended up butchering a classic. Would you have sung this song in a bustier and lace panties with big hair and glitter make-up? No way. So why make something 'yours' when it DID NOT NEED IT!?

    February 7, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
  9. melissa

    lol i missed this part

    February 7, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Charles De Gull

    She should have at least tried to sing it as it was written. Or they should have had someone with talent sing it, like Ronan Tynan. At least she wiped the blow from her nose.

    February 7, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Gerald

    Why is she trying to imitate black female singers. She is making a bit of a comeback after her career took a dip. The youngster did ok. Her school must be proud of her

    February 7, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  12. brandon

    Facts are facts. First of all, Christina Aguilera just proved to everyone she cannot carry a tune and needs a lot of studio help, and her version was HORRIBLE to start with. She should have sang it in a much more traditional style instead of pretending she could "motown" it up with any success, She's white, and she needs to be reminded of that I guess.
    plain and simple.. She SUCKED!

    February 7, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  13. SpinnyLiberal

    It's my favorite part of the Superbowl, so I was bummed. They should have vetted better because this isn't the first time she's messed up the anthem. I wish she could have said "Sorry I screwed up" instead of saying she repeated the lines and she loves America. Um, OK.

    Anyway, it was a mistake that was unfortunately broadcast all over the world. Despite her weak "apology," I'm pretty sure she's mortified. Can't we leave it at that and move on?

    February 7, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  14. VelveteenLady

    Her mistake brings home several things: First, Aguilera's "version" of the National Anthem was wretched and appalling. Just because someone can scream and call it singing and then take one note and make 30 notes out of it, does not a singer or an entertainer make. Second, Aguilera is supposed to be a "professional," and as such, has had to memorize many lyrics. The fact that she forgot the words to our National Anthem and then rationalized it by stating that she got caught up in the moment is ridiculous and shameful. In an effort to keep the ratings high, the Super Bowl folks chose a young woman, whose only talent is that she is loud, like everyone of her ilk. Perhaps, next time, they will get a real singer, who can sing the song, as it it written, and "without getting caught up."

    February 7, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  15. truthinrock

    All that peroxide got to her brain.

    February 7, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
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