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. Bill

    Its very sad that it was screwed up plus not sang properly but to even not know the words, she was terrible., hope all the people in service ban her records

    February 6, 2011 at 10:49 pm | Report abuse |
  2. D Green

    It's one thing to mess it up, although there should a tele-prompter out of the camera in case this happens. I know the words, but I'm sure I'd be nervous. What I don't like is the deliberate butchering of the song. She's not the only one to do this. It's out national anthem, not a soul or hip hop song. Sing it straight like it's supposed to be sung!

    February 6, 2011 at 10:50 pm | Report abuse |
  3. bob

    who is cristina argulara?

    February 6, 2011 at 10:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • jeff

      you're not funny...

      February 6, 2011 at 11:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      a sucky singer and someone that doesn't know our national anthem.

      February 6, 2011 at 11:11 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Mark, Phoenix

    She kept warbling as if she got extra points for multiple notes on each word. I aam sooo tired of that lame technique.

    February 6, 2011 at 10:50 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Chairmanbuzz

    I'd screw her up, down, sideways.... its all good.

    February 6, 2011 at 10:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • FreddieK

      She forgot her song but she was purty hot 😉

      February 6, 2011 at 11:05 pm | Report abuse |
  6. sue j.

    The worst performance of our national anthem I have ever witnessed. With so many talented singers out there, one was picked who can't remember the words??? If you can't sing this most revered song, get lost. It was also the most awful half time show ever. Whatever happened to real entertainment???? When Whitney Houstin sang it, I was overcome with emotion.....I searched for weeks to by the single, which I still have and will keep forever..
    Can we get some respect back in this country???? Anyways, the PACK won....well deserved, and a very good, hard working game on both teams.....Love this sport......See you next year.....

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

    I am not american and I alwys find it shocking and disresectful that US national anthem is sung at the commercial sport events, which are basically just entertainment.In other countries the anthem is reserved for events of national importance and honoring fallen soldiers.
    The US anthem is also extremly hard to sing, which is counterproductive since every citizen is supposed to know it yet nobody can sing it. America the beautiful would've made a much better anthem.

    February 6, 2011 at 10:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • D Green

      Actually, I think most Americans like it to be sung at sporting events. However, too many "singers" ruin it by not singing it straight. They add notes and it's disrespectful. It should be performed with respect, and I don't think it was tonight, even if she hadn't messed up with words.

      February 6, 2011 at 10:59 pm | Report abuse |
  8. James

    I'd like to hear what Simon thought about it. But then again, he may have liked it. The anthem is supposed to inspire you, make you feel proud. Her singing only inspired me to leave the room. Detailed accuracy is not that important? Please. Get off your love for a cut rate singer. Let the guy from the Packers/Bears playoff game sing instead!

    February 6, 2011 at 10:51 pm | Report abuse |
  9. JaneAZ

    As if singing it absolutely awful wasn't bad enough, she also goofed up the words. Next time they should use a teleprompter.

    February 6, 2011 at 10:52 pm | Report abuse |
  10. John

    Think of all the fallen solders from the American Revolution to Afghanistan today... and then try to watch that poor excuse for a performance..... Know what? Christina got the "waving at everyone and smiling part down right". Its all about you isn't it Christina? If you can't memorize the national anthem and your profession is to entertain with singing, you should be forced to enlist into the Army and serve for a few deployments in Afghanistan. That was a shame and disgrace to all those who have died for this nation. What a joke.

    February 6, 2011 at 10:52 pm | Report abuse |
  11. John Not

    She should have sung it naked. No one would have noticed the lyrics.

    February 6, 2011 at 10:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • John Not

      Here's a video of her performance at the Superbowl =

      February 6, 2011 at 10:56 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Dub1045

    Where was LeAnne Rhimes when we needed her?

    The entire entertainment was lame.......Maybe a 10 yr old would like it but I'm not sure of that. Tron revisited...poorly done..

    February 6, 2011 at 10:52 pm | Report abuse |
  13. M

    Do I spot a Nazi salute?!?!?! O_o

    February 6, 2011 at 10:52 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Dean

    Just great. We get a Colombian sk ank to do the American national anthem, and she flubs it. Then we fill a half time show with a bunch of no-talent rappers, with a sucky, uninteresting performance. Thank goodness it was a good game for a change!

    February 6, 2011 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Dan

    So easy to do as a performer when you know something TOO well.

    February 6, 2011 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
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