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. ****waldo****

    I think oodles and oodles of people don't like christina. I heard her she's alright .*****jane azz anyone? If neo or willy were in the stands would they sing better then christina.

    February 6, 2011 at 11:02 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Moonbeam

    Cyndie King: agree. I remember hearing Patty LaBelle drowning out almost everyone else during the ending group sing-along on (if I recall correctly) the Live Aid broadcast many years ago. I wanted to hear those famous voices joined in unison, but it just sounded like Ms. LaBelle was making it about herself and how powerful she could show her voice to be. So the predominant sound was Patty wailing. I like her singing, but she needs to know when less is more. Actually, I think Cher did the best job at a Super Bowl National Anthem performance that I can remember offhand; I heard she even had some of the football players in tears during her rendition. Whitney Houston did a good job, too, but then there were the stories that it was pre-recorded. The rendition that beat them all, though, was at my granddaughter's college graduation from FDIM at the Staples Center in L.A. almost 3 years ago. He was a member of the Les Miserables (spelling?) cast in Las Vegas, and he sang the National Anthem and also This Is the Moment. I can't recall his name without looking at her graduation program, but he was easily one of the best singers I've ever heard anywhere. Why don't some of those people get the recording contracts instead of some of the mediocre ones who actually do? Of course, Aguilara is by no means mediocre, and I would have expected a great rendition from her. It just seems like some people with the most impressive voices, like Mariah Carey, for instance, seem to turn songs into what sound to me like vocal "olympics" so I can't really even enjoy the melody of the song. I didn't hear Aguilara's version today, but from the description of the comments here, sounds like that's what happened. I'll check it out tomorrow on the computer at work; my laptop doesn't play youtube stuff very well.

    February 6, 2011 at 11:02 pm | Report abuse |
  3. jim cpa

    Go Sarah Palin!!!!

    February 6, 2011 at 11:02 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Beantown

    Why do we even need an anthem? Sing whatever you feel like and just start the game already.

    February 6, 2011 at 11:03 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Carrie D.

    She flubbed the lyric, knew she flubbed it, and carried on singing as if it hadn't happened. Guess what–that's what singers are TRAINED to do! Would all the critics out there have preferred she collapse on the stage in a sobbing wreck from embarassment? No, a real professional doesn't stop because she makes a mistake. And guess what–none of the other five people I was watching the game with remembered that she'd flubbed the words when I commented that I wished I had her poise, because she didn't act like it.

    February 6, 2011 at 11:03 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Sagebrush Shorty

    Sad display of ignorance. Perhaps she should have borrowed a Teleprompter or had Roseanne Barr as backup.

    February 6, 2011 at 11:03 pm | Report abuse |
  7. OdumSarah

    Who cares!! The words to the song don't make sense anyway. Bravo Christina!

    February 6, 2011 at 11:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • jim cpa

      maybe they would if you could read them

      February 6, 2011 at 11:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • frs

      The words make geat sense. They are the description by Frances Scott Key of the attack on Fort McHenry in the early 1800's. If you hadn't fallen asleep in your history class, you would know the story of that battle with the British Navy and you wouldn't say something so stupid like 'the words don't make sense'......Geeeeesh.

      February 6, 2011 at 11:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Leslie

      They don't make sense?!? Really? I guess you were sleeping when you were suppose to be paying attention during your Early American History class. Your moniker fits you.

      February 6, 2011 at 11:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Army Wife

      I care! I sat with my 10 year old son who had to watch the game without his dad, because his dad just left for a year-long deployment...again. It burns me that Americans care more about who replaces Simon on American Idol than they do about our nation's traditions!

      February 7, 2011 at 2:18 am | Report abuse |
  8. Kenny

    Just another celebrity who can't sing. If you want a great rendition of the national anthem, have the glee club or chorus from West Point, the Naval academy, or the Air Force academy sing the song.

    February 6, 2011 at 11:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Leslie

      Kenny – great idea! I, for one, would much rather listen to a great chorus group sing the National Anthem the way is was intended to be sung and not butchered by some singer who thinks that it's all about them at the Super Bowl.

      February 6, 2011 at 11:25 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Chris

    If you want to hear a great version of the Star Spangled Banner look up Star Spangled Banner and Kate Smith.

    February 6, 2011 at 11:05 pm | Report abuse |
  10. MAC

    February 6, 2011 at 11:06 pm | Report abuse |
  11. jenny28

    Enrico Palazzo!!!!!!

    February 6, 2011 at 11:06 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Ed

    What a total disgrace and a slap in the face to our fine men and women serving our country for them to hear our National Anthem sung so terribly.

    February 6, 2011 at 11:07 pm | Report abuse |
  13. talking point

    I think she was overdose.

    February 6, 2011 at 11:07 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Richie

    She was high lol

    February 6, 2011 at 11:07 pm | Report abuse |
  15. duffman

    what a colossal f-ing twit this chick is... too bad she didn't trip off the stage and break something... at least then we would have been amused. i am so sick and tired of this obsession with getting "big name" people to sing the anthem who do nothing but put their own damn pathetic spins on the song, by carrying certain notes too far or whatever. enough already... if you can't sing the song straight, then don't sing it. besides... this is a football game... IDK why we have to have all this other pomp mixed in with it... just show us some football.

    February 6, 2011 at 11:07 pm | Report abuse |
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