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. Grumpoldman


    True but we also have the longest and worst national anthem of any country.

    Reply: Then get the hell out. I'll hold the door for you, you looser

    February 6, 2011 at 11:36 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Richard J.

    An absoulute disgrace!

    February 6, 2011 at 11:36 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Arvo

    National Anthem is just that a anthem its not a pop song open to your personal interperataion mostly butchered and proven sadly once again today

    February 6, 2011 at 11:36 pm | Report abuse |
  4. TD

    I don't blame her, I cannot even remember the lyrics to the christmas carols, much to my wife's (RIP) horror! Not to mention how many times my mom threw me out of catholic mass for messing up their rituals.

    February 6, 2011 at 11:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • star

      I bet you are being paid to remember the lyrics to christmas carols either unlike the present singer ( I use that word loosely) was.

      February 6, 2011 at 11:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rb

      Good, please keep out. Out to respectful people.

      February 6, 2011 at 11:56 pm | Report abuse |
  5. hemiola

    No surprise...anyone who actually studies music understands all the potential problems take nothing for granted; especially trained musicians. The problem is she is not a musician, but rather another over-confident name expecting adulations for any quality of work.

    February 6, 2011 at 11:37 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Dan

    Who cares? I'd tap that.

    February 6, 2011 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |
  7. HoustonFred

    She owes everyone an apology, and the people who do the planning and hiring for the anthem and entertainment need to be replaced. 'nuff said!!

    February 6, 2011 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • TroyG

      I agree 100%

      February 7, 2011 at 12:50 am | Report abuse |
  8. A Heartbroken Veteran

    What really makes me sad is how disrespectful of the whole country it is for these 'professional entertainers' to forget the words or pervert the tune of our National Anthem just to pamper their own ego. Does anyone else remember Billy Ray Cyrus singing the National Anthem in Atlanta for a World Series Game, then stiffing the Atlanta Falcons NFL game the next night? He fell from favor very shortly there after. Same of the 'Rock Star' who butchered the National Anthem at the Indy 500 a few years ago.

    If Ms. Agularia is truly a child of a veteran, then she needs to render a public apology for her flubs in tonights National Anthem and she needs to donate her pay for the performance to a charity that provides musical instruments to needy students.

    If only she realized that the cheers at the end of the National Anthem was not to cheer her performance but in thanks that she was done disgracing herself with a poor performance.

    February 6, 2011 at 11:39 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Kent Campbell

    My son-in-law is a fireman who helped organize a tribute to the 9/11 firefighters. Part of that was a lady in the air force who sang the star spangled banner the way I think it should be done; don't stretch out the cadence, keep the song brief and to the point, etc. I talked with her later to compliment her and she said the defense department has strict standards on the proper rendition, at least by military standards. Go to a high school basketball game and each female singer (?) tries to make it her own especially with the unneeded flourish's.

    February 6, 2011 at 11:40 pm | Report abuse |
  10. James

    Its a dumb song anyway

    February 6, 2011 at 11:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Billy Z

      You must be Russian, Mexican or a Muslim....

      February 7, 2011 at 12:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Angela

      BillyZ – are you really George Dubyah

      February 7, 2011 at 12:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Horton

      then move out

      February 7, 2011 at 12:24 am | Report abuse |
    • TroyG

      Don't like it? then stfu & gtfo. It's that simple.

      February 7, 2011 at 12:51 am | Report abuse |

    Someone should have thrown this woman off the stage as poorly as she disgraced the National Anthem. Hideous and stuff!!

    February 6, 2011 at 11:41 pm | Report abuse |
  12. generics

    Whoever booked Black Eyed Peas for the halftime should be fired. They were absolutely awful. They without a doubt proved that they're nothing more than a recording studio group, and not meant for live performances.

    Even the ridiculous overuse of Autotune didn't save that performance.

    February 6, 2011 at 11:42 pm | Report abuse |
  13. star

    She looked and sounded like someone on drugs. I have heard others make a mess of the national anthem before, but must say she takes the prize for the total mutilation of it.

    February 6, 2011 at 11:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chicken

      Actually it was better than Rosanne Barr's version.

      February 6, 2011 at 11:46 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Merely Amused

    I'd be happier if our anthem were "America the Beautiful" or "This Land is Your Land" (bother 100% American songs) over the mash-up that is our current anthem. The tune is actually a British drinking song and the words were originally just a poem. Putting them together was a big mistake.

    February 6, 2011 at 11:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • jubilee shine

      "This Land is Your Land" - exactly.

      February 7, 2011 at 12:32 am | Report abuse |
  15. Ted

    When we these event organizers ever learn to hire people who know how to sing the national anthem as it should be. Jim Cornelison.from Chicago knows how to sing it. Let's stop butchering our sacred song!!!!

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