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. Brian in NC

    I think there should be a law against these "artists" being more interested in making our national anthem about themselves than singing it correctly. It is very disrespectful for our national athem to be treated so lightly and for so called "professionals" to make it all about themselves instead of showing our country it's due respect. Stop screwing with the "redition" or "version" and sing it as it's supposed to be. You don't see other nations constantly messing around with their anthems.....lets cut the crap and get back to what our anthem is all about.

    February 6, 2011 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • bslms

      When I was growing up we learned the National Anthem and America the Beautiful in elementary school. We were actually graded on them. I wonder if they are still taught in schools today.....

      February 6, 2011 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Really???

      Our public schools do not teach patriotic songs very much any more in many places bslms. The kids mostly hear the national anthem at sporting events. The singers often stand there, and ululate between words as if it is a rap song. They copy this current crop of so called singers & think they are heroes for butchering the song too.

      February 6, 2011 at 11:44 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Andrew

    Can we just stop with all this pop-culture garbage forced into the Super Bowl? No one watches to hear Christina Aguilera butcher our national anthem, the Black Eyed Peas dance around with square heads, or the random shots of Hollywood B-celebs sitting in the stadium. Most Americans just want to watch the football game, and most Americans are smart enough to realize that Hollywood is garbage for the most part

    February 6, 2011 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
  3. REALLY?

    Is it to much to ask that a professional singer, ie: someone who makes a living singing, LEARN THE FREAKIN' WORDS!!!
    It's only the national disgraceful. And the half time show SUCKED!!!

    February 6, 2011 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • denise

      I'm with you! I learned it in grade school and still know all of the words til this day. No excuse on why an American does not know the National Anthem peroid!!!!!!

      February 6, 2011 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      What was wrong with the half-time show? It was probably the best one I've ever seen. It was much better than the anthem, the unmemorable ads, or the total snoozefest of a game. Horrible, over-hyped Superbowl. At least the better team won.

      February 7, 2011 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
  4. David R. Ramsey

    I think the crowd cheered because they showed soldiers from Afghanistan on the screens overhead.

    February 6, 2011 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Miffed

    Just show some respect and sing the song like it is suppose to be sung. Then to forget the words, how embarassing.

    February 6, 2011 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mary Ann

    Who decides on the anthem singer and the half time entertainment? Some 13 year old boys??? Dang! We have better singers in this country!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    February 6, 2011 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thomas in Vancouver

      Previous half-time shows included Paul McCartney, The Who, The Rolling Stones and Micheal Jackson. I guess it's all downhill from here.

      February 6, 2011 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Sam

    I don't understand why these singers (so they are called) have to butcher our National Anthem. Why don't these singers just sing it as it was written. The worst rendition I have heard!!!!

    February 6, 2011 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Chris

    I didn't even know that Aguilera was still singing. I thought she had faded into the background. I have never really cared for her songs... all she does is show off her, "range". I miss the Faith Hill version... SIMPLE, good, enduring. RESPECTFUL.

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

    To the people who says she is not american, she actually is. Born in NY.

    February 6, 2011 at 9:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Really???

      That explains it 😉

      February 6, 2011 at 11:46 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Patricia

    Really Xtina was it too much to ask that you learn the words? Half time show was bad too.

    February 6, 2011 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
  11. krya

    She propably intentional did that to be in the news. Bad news or good news is NEWS...often times bad news has a wider circulation...

    February 6, 2011 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Kermit Roosevelt

    I kinda think the Russian national anthem and "Deutschland Uber Alles" still bring goosebumps...

    February 6, 2011 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Teresa

    Francis Scott Key was rolling in his grave tonight. What an AWFUL rendition! Every singer who dares sing the national anthem should be required to take a test before hand to MAKE SURE they KNOW the WORDS!!!!!

    February 6, 2011 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • galfridus73

      Key should roll over in his grave every time the anthem is sung. It's a horrendous poem that was shoehorned into the tune of a British pub song!

      February 6, 2011 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Debra

    This whole super bowl has been like watching the academy awards. Every actor in a movie or tv show coming up, was on the red carpet. I don't give a flying flip about all that.
    Why not let the military bands do the National Anthem. I don't think they have ever forgotten the words. Pathetic!

    February 6, 2011 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Really???

      I agree, I have heard some great singers among the police, firefighters, & veterans groups. I heard one officer with a wonderful tenor at a baseball game. It had everyone on their feet cheering.

      February 6, 2011 at 11:52 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Ashley

    Sad that the national anthem was messed up. Funny that this pimp o is stupid that she can not respect her own country. Christina is a has been anyways.

    February 6, 2011 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Christopher

      This is what happens when you give something so important to a person like her.

      February 6, 2011 at 10:38 pm | Report abuse |
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