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. Lee

    Aguilera was not alone in messing up the anthem. This was a particulary bad weekend for singing our national anthems/songs. Saturday, at the PGA Waste Management Phoenix Open (for real) played at the TPC in Scottsdale, Arizona, the rowdy gallery at the now infamous 16th hole (a par 3) began singing the national anthem as their college homeboy Phil Mickleson was standing on the tee preparing to tee off. Approximately 20,000 in number, they sounded like 20,000 drunken sailors. It was done in extremely poor taste and the timing was absolutely terrible, as from the beginning, there was absolutely no chance of them finishing the song. It fizzled/faded out as Phil gingerly stepped up to hit. It was a very awkward moment for Phil, the TV announcers and I'm sure for anyone in that gallery who had an ounce of true patriotism. "Thrill-a-minute" Phil provided a very timely distraction, stealing the limelight by delivering a birdie on the hole and perhaps "rescuing" the gallery from a very public reprimand (through the media). As a 20 year US Navy veteran (retired since '93) I plead with and to all those who have a say in these matters: NEVER ALLOW OUR NATIONAL SYMBOLS TO BE DESECRATED, TAKEN LIGHTLY, COMMERCIALIZED NOR ABUSED. PLEASE! BLOOD HAS BEEN SHED. LIVES HAVE BEEN GIVEN AND LOST. LET US ALL RESPECT OUR NATIONAL SYMBOLS. AMERICA, THERE IS NO PLACE ON EARTH I'D RATHER LIVE. GOD BLESS AMERICA.

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

      uhm, it doesnt get more commercialized than the super bowl... maybe you should think that over.

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

    The singing was pitiful. How has she managed to win Grammy's?

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

      Companies buy those awards.

      February 6, 2011 at 11:47 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Al B

    She was terrible; didn't know the words; and seemingly had no respect for anything more than her own ego.
    Well, her ego was also served badly tonight. She belongs placed on the shelf with that other overweight idiot, Rosanne Barr.

    February 6, 2011 at 11:46 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Greg Truther

    You people need to stop. To even think you know what or how the National Anthem was "supposed" to be sung. And black people weren't supposed to have rights. Why does everything have to boil down to what once was? That's why we are losing America, simply because we can't keep up with the freakin times. We always want to revert back to how things once was. Get your heads out of the freaking 1800's. Globalization is real. Christine may have flubbed the words, maybe in a nervous moment because that line is hard to get right, but other than that, she sung it beautifully. She has one of the most powerful voices in modern music. The National Anthem was written boring so everyone should sing it as boring as it was written? Geez, people are pathetic.

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

      Maybe a powerful voice for modern POP music... try listening to a Wagnerian opera singer. THAT is power. Those people don't even need microphones to sing over an orchestra.

      February 7, 2011 at 12:01 am | Report abuse |
  5. stopthelies

    What a terrible excuse for an anthem. Halftime was worse! More rap-crap from no-talents. Why is rap popular? Because there are so many wannabe's that can't sing! They should be called the Black Eyed Out Of Work. Very happy for the Packers though. Good game.

    February 6, 2011 at 11:50 pm | Report abuse |
  6. AF Johnson

    She was a little better than Roseann Barr at a baseball game a few years back.
    They should get a choral group from one of the military academies or service branches to sing; or have a vote on candidates nominated by the music industry.
    Tell Christina to have a teleprompter the next time she tries to sing the national anthem.

    February 6, 2011 at 11:50 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Ed Boyle

    Let's face it. Most music, be it recordings, or live in entertainment media has a purpose of displaying the talents of the performer (s), who is the star, An anthem is somewhat different, projecting a piece of history, the great qualities of the country, state, city. It should be left at that and not serve as a vehicle for the self promotion of the performer. I have nothing but contempt when MY anthem is performed in the style of a lounge singer.

    February 6, 2011 at 11:51 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Charlie

    Dude why do us Americans have to take everything so serious? Yeah she might of not performed

    February 6, 2011 at 11:51 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Mike

    They should've gotten Bieber to do it. He's Canadian, but WHATEVER

    February 6, 2011 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Angela


      I'm Canadian and none of us want that BieberTwieber to be on anything, we can't stand him and now we're barfing at how he's everywhere.
      Can the U.S. adopt him? We'll pay you since our $ is worth as much as yours now ;).

      February 6, 2011 at 11:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      We gladly accept him. Already, Canadian citizen though he may be, Bieber is a true American Icon. I mean, he's been on the cover of Bop and Tiger Beat like a million times in a row now

      February 7, 2011 at 12:07 am | Report abuse |
  10. Unknown

    The National Anthem is already a difficult song to begin with. It was never intended to be a song, it was intended to be a poem to boost morale against the British during the War of 1812, which during the time it was written the British had the upper hand. Now if you want a song that was intended to be a song, try, "This Land is Your Land," or "America the Beautiful."

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

      "This Land is Your Land"

      right on.

      February 7, 2011 at 12:38 am | Report abuse |
  11. Pirate Bob

    Arrrrr, I be too busy lookin' at those big jugs, she can sing ye 'ol anthem another time.

    Give ye young lassee a break, arrrrrrr

    February 6, 2011 at 11:55 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Charlie

    Dude why do us Americans have to take everything so serious? Yeah she might of not performed 180% as perfect as you would like but who performed perfectly in this superbowl? The steelers and packers made lots of mistakes, Christina performed beautifully and if you didn't like it and have to take her imperfection so seriously then you must have nothing interesting to talk about and have absolutely NO life. I'm not an Aguilera fan but I can't say that she didn't sing fantastically because she did. Go Christina!

    February 6, 2011 at 11:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Horton

      ok, have her sing it next time with a 300lb man trying to rip her neck off and stay out of our country then.

      February 7, 2011 at 12:30 am | Report abuse |
  13. ponytimeyo

    This is why they should hire professional singers... you know the ones who train for years and practice before performances, not just some top 40's has been. Just sayin...

    February 6, 2011 at 11:58 pm | Report abuse |
  14. JustMe

    Didn't care for her rendition although she can sing. And I said "She messed up the words!" to my husband. It was pretty obvious. How do people NOT know the words to the National Anthem? I've known them since I was 10.

    The melody was originally a tavern song called "To Anacreon In Heaven".

    February 6, 2011 at 11:58 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Colin

    Green Bay won, their fans are happy. Pittsburgh lost, their fans may make an issue out of it. She makes millions of dollars a year and could emigrate at any second if she pleased and hasn't served this country any further than just being here. As a service member...I say...who cares!? ...Rich people do what they want in this country, while the strong, serve, and enable them...thought that was the American way!

    February 7, 2011 at 12:01 am | Report abuse |
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