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. Conrad

    Wow

    February 7, 2011 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Mindy

    The same thing happened to me at the opening of the Diamondbacks Game in Phoenix and I was so disappointed! It can happen to anyone of us....besides you'll never understand the amount of pressure and the incredible echo of your voice it's hard to stay on timing...love you Christina

    February 7, 2011 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Liz

      Mindy, I think the point is that more is expected of her as a PROFESSIONAL singer. I too have sung at major league ballgames, and the delay is definitely terrifying. But she is not an amateur or even a semi-pro. She should be able to either do the job well – representing the country that has given her more than any in the world ever could – or not take the gig. And she definitely needs to get a clue and realize that this is not a song to "make your own." Stupid side effect of American Idol...

      February 7, 2011 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
  3. JesusM

    She did the best she could do. She is not very smart. Next time use a prompter.

    February 7, 2011 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jeff

    Total Babe! She can screw my national anthem anytime.

    February 7, 2011 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
  5. musicmom

    Singers have less difficulty remembering the words of a song if they sing it as weitten. Please stop adding additional notes. It is not your place to sing your own rendition of our national anthum. Francis Scott Key did a beautiful job. The performers have become so consumed with the melody, they have forgotten to listen to the lyrics. Maybe someone should sing the fourth verse and see if the media notices.

    February 7, 2011 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Name*BHoward

    As a disabled veteran and proud American, I am appalled that, once again, someone has butchered our National Anthem.

    Why can't we just have a traditional marching band play the song instead of having some singer continue the sad tradition of disrespecting ALL OF US by trying to put their "artistic license" to it?

    February 7, 2011 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jay

    Flub a dub dub! I'm waiting for her to now record her mess up and make money off of it. Ha ha!

    February 7, 2011 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Stu

    At least it was better than Fergie!! I'm
    surprised Slash didn't stop playing to ask her what the hell she was thinking!!

    February 7, 2011 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
  9. chris

    Christina Augilera SUCKS! Mariah Carey has the best performance of this song

    February 7, 2011 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
  10. dave

    Ouch,biggest tv audience in history and she screws up. very embarrassing. For those of u who say "90+ percent wouldn't have recognized it w/o reading about it", ur crazy. It was painfully obvious

    February 7, 2011 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
  11. kim

    I knew right off she was not prepared her hair, wig, weave or whatever you call it was uncombed. She looked high also that blond hair and the pale look flop in burlerque why would she do better at the superbowl she just needs to sit down somewhere she a has been hag. She looked and sound a mess!

    February 7, 2011 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
  12. kelli B

    I think she may have been nervous/I think she may have had a lot on her mind or something/I am sure she feels really bad/we dont know what happened before- I think the worst part was the Halftime show/ it was horrible, except for "USHER" he should of done the whole show!!!

    February 7, 2011 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Paula

    I agree with Rose. If everyone, players included, sang the National Anthem, the meaning and appreciation for our country through song would be awesome! I can just hear the stadium explode with singing! When the camera scans the players and I see them singing along I recognize respect and pride they have for our country. How great it would be to have them not merely lip sync but heartily sing with each other our country's anthem.

    February 7, 2011 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
  14. CanadianObserver

    This just proves that Ya'll in A-merica can't speak English properly, let alone sing your national anthem correctly. Go ahead, eat your I-talian food, and fight your war in I-raq, and I-ran, oh and by the way, there is only one "A" in "Dollar". It's not "Dalllar", it's "Dollar" with an "O". Most people on the street interviewed by CNN couldn't even sing all the words to the national anthem. "USA Number one, number one, but we can't speak our own language correctly, and don't know all the words to our national anthem". You're so proud, yet so stupid, It's embarrassing! Ask any Canadian to sing the national anthem for you. We'll sing it in English and French, with humility and pride. You think you're the best in the world, well tell that to Christina Aguilera, who totally screwed up your national anthem in front of BILLIONS of people!

    February 7, 2011 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bea

      Wouldn't "dallar" instead of "dollar" be due to an accent perhaps? And how can one call onself an observer if one is commenting? Twice. Same comment, but twice. I would hope that all Americans aren't defined by Christina Aguliera. The same way I would hope that not alll Canadians would be defined by Jim Carrey. And why are you watching the Super Bowl anyway, if Americans are so terrible?

      February 7, 2011 at 10:40 pm | Report abuse |
  15. CanadianObserver

    This just proves that Ya'll in A-merica can't speak English properly, let alone sing your national anthem correctly. Go ahead, eat your I-talian food, and fight your war in I-raq, and I-ran, oh and by the way, there is only one "A" in "Dollar". It's not "Dalllar", it's "Dollar" with an "O". Most people on the street interviewed by CNN couldn't even sing all the words to the national anthem. "USA Number one, number one, but we can't speak our own language correctly, and don't know all the words to our national anthem". You're so proud, yet so stupid, It's embarrassing! Ask any Canadian to sing the national anthem for you. We'll sing it in English and French, with humility and pride. You think you're the best in the world, well tell that to Christina Aguilera, who totally screwed up your national anthem in front of BILLIONS of people!

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

      You're still Canadian...

      February 7, 2011 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • CanadianObserver

      Which does that mean exactly? I find that anytime A-mericans are challenged by us, they go on the defensive, with this superiority complex. We don't buy into that for a second! We know we've got it good. We just pity you, and thank god that we're a sovereign nation on your northern border! Hopefully you won't invade us anytime soon for our natural resources. But if you do, maybe we could teach you how to speak English!

      February 7, 2011 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • MattyCombs

      Jesus will you chill the fack out and breathe through your nose? So much anger...

      February 8, 2011 at 12:10 am | Report abuse |
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