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. Art

    The only difference between Aguilera and an airheaded tramp is money.

    February 6, 2011 at 11:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      Wow. All that scary anger pointed at someone you don't even know? And with more talent in her left ring finger probably you and your entire family have.

      February 6, 2011 at 11:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chicken

      Aguilera is average pop talent at best. Nothing to see here, folks.

      February 6, 2011 at 11:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Acaraho

      To Frank: who cares. The music artists of today can't hold a candle to those of yesterday.

      February 7, 2011 at 12:21 am | Report abuse |
  2. Leslie

    She butchered it! Shameful!!

    February 6, 2011 at 11:27 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Mike

    Many of you said it and I could not agree more. Here is my comment as straight forward as I can make it. People in this this country need to stand up for OUR country's Anthem, and stop singers like Aguilera trashing it by making it a love ballet, or all about them, and their attempt to showcase themselves on the world stage. If you want to showcase yourself; do it by showing respect for our country in signing our Anthem the way it was intended! She deserves all the ridicule and acceptance of ownership for her mistake; she should without question be on National TV tomorrow morning apologizing to every American. Humble yourself superstar; it might actually do you some good!

    February 6, 2011 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      You Hit The Nail On The Head Mike!!!
      Jim, Nam 67-68

      February 6, 2011 at 11:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • TroyG

      @Mike well said! I wish more people felt the same way. I am totally appalled by the disrespect Christina showed by this poor rendition of our national anthem. She owes each and every one of us an apology.

      February 7, 2011 at 12:43 am | Report abuse |
  4. Chila

    Well, at least we know she was not lip synching.

    February 6, 2011 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Bet

    When are singers (term used loosely) going to stop screwing around with the music of the Star Spangled Banner and just sing it the way it's written? I get so tired of dimwits trying to "improve" on the National Anthem with their own personal interpretations. They need to just sing the darn song the way it's written and get over themselves.

    February 6, 2011 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
  6. BRB San Deigo

    Lot's of singers have trouble with the fourth line because nothing in current English usage even comes close to the syntax, vocabulary, or imagery. What the hell does it really mean? Please remember this was a drunken pub song meant to inflame the British. Everyone knows that "God Bless America" should be the national anthem.

    February 6, 2011 at 11:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chicken

      Hail Columbia was the original anthem before the Star-Spangled Banner.

      February 6, 2011 at 11:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Horton

      Please go check the History of how that song was made. Thank you

      February 7, 2011 at 12:17 am | Report abuse |
  7. Tam

    Why is there no respect for the anthem? How about just singing it normally, not as a scat, or rock concert, or dooby-doo or whatever. Just good voice, and stick to the melody. Too hard to ask for?

    February 6, 2011 at 11:31 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Rusty

    She made the mistake of trying to fit every note possible into almost every word, which is alwayds annoying. As far as flubbing the line, I've heard people make the exact same mistake countless times on that song. She was probably nervous because she knew she was going to be scrutinized for her performance. That's a lot different from singing to a crowd of adoring fans at a concert.

    February 6, 2011 at 11:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • star

      She made the mistake of showing up.

      February 6, 2011 at 11:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      She was nervous? Really? Interesting. Then how come she was able to do it at age 11? At the Stanley Cup Finals? At age 11? She half-assed this one, that's how.

      February 6, 2011 at 11:56 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Nanner

    C murdered the anthem, as did the young singer from Glee and "America the Beautiful." These songs are song as a tribute to our country, not as a platform for vocal pyrotechnics. Take it back, sing it simply, and the message will be delivered. Check Lyle Lovett's anthem during the Series playoffs. Simply amazing!

    February 6, 2011 at 11:33 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Grumpoldman


    @ The US lost that war that the poem written during. Learn your own history

    Reply: Jonas, you pathetic embarassment to this country. The "Star Spangled Banner" was written at the battle of Ft. McKenry. The Britished sailed out of the harbor the next morning after failing to distroy the fort. On top of that the US won the War of 1812 at the battle of New Orleans. You sir(use term loosley) are an idiot and don't deserve to live in this country. I can't stand the thought that you or your relatives are living here. You make me physically ill.

    February 6, 2011 at 11:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chicken

      Fort McHenry.

      Andrew Jackson crushed the British at the Battle of New Orleans in 1815 (no one knew about the Treaty of Ghent) and after the Napoleonic Wars ended, a lot of our issues with Britain also ceased and we have been frenemies ever since.

      February 6, 2011 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paige

      If you are going to try and correct another's post you might want to be correct yourself. 1- you need to invest in a dictionary, you spell like, actually you can't spell. 2- The US lost the war of 1812, as determined by the Treaty signed at the end of the war. 3- The battle of New Orleans was fought after the war was over, thus had no bearing on the outcome of the war. 4- Please listen to the advice of Mark Twain "... it is better to be thought a fool, then to open your mouth and remove all doubt" 5- At this point I believe there is no doubt regarding your intellectual abilities.

      February 7, 2011 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
  11. Bet

    For those unfamiliar with how the Star Spangled Banner came to be--
    The lyrics come from "Defence of Fort McHenry", a poem written in 1814 by the 35-year-old lawyer and amateur poet, Francis Scott Key, after witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry by the British Royal Navy ships in Chesapeake Bay during the Battle of Fort McHenry in the War of 1812.
    The poem was set to the tune of a popular British drinking song, written by John Stafford Smith for the Anacreontic Society, a men's social club in London.
    Set to Key's poem and renamed "The Star-Spangled Banner", it would soon become a well-known American patriotic song.
    "The Star-Spangled Banner" was recognized for official use by the Navy in 1889 and the President in 1916, and was made the national anthem by a congressional resolution on March 3, 1931

    February 6, 2011 at 11:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Friend

      ty for sharing that history.

      February 6, 2011 at 11:45 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Heather

    I hate that they get these "talent" types to come out and do the Anthem. They should have one of the Military personel come in and sing. Now they can sing and sing the Anthem with the honor and with Dignity that it deserves. If that is not possible. Have the words up on the big screen and have the audience sing. That would mean more....cost less.

    February 6, 2011 at 11:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chicken

      Most of these performers work for free.

      But I agree-the Military would have a more vested interest than some pop singer.

      February 6, 2011 at 11:44 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Crustina Arugula

    Sieg Heil?

    February 6, 2011 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Diana

    We all make mistakes...I found myself stumbling on the last part myself even though I've heard it so many times. It's not a big deal. We know she is an awesome singer, and I didn't even notice the mistake until someone mentioned it on facebook, so no big deal.

    February 6, 2011 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Arvo

    To call Christine a singer is a insult to the real singers in the world, all she did was scream, and flubbig the words just put the icing on the cake that this woman should never be hired to do anything. Just go away your 15 mins of fame is over. If they can't lip sync they are outright plain awful.

    February 6, 2011 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
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