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. fritz

    Another sad commentary on our “present culture”. Unfortunately, Ms. Aguilera is just like the many others that sing the national anthem as if they are trying out for American Idol (gag). It happens all too often. There is no excuse for this. It is very insulting to the working class American and unequivocally disrespectful to what true Americans pride themselves in. Family, a decent job, and hope of building a better tomorrow. But we have to tolerate this. It is time to wake up and stop this nonsense and disrespect for our precious country. Personally, I am surprised that she did not have a cell phone attached to her skull while she totally flubbed up. At least then she would have an excuse to give her promoter.

    February 7, 2011 at 12:54 am | Report abuse |
  2. Bringiton1

    Who cares. It was good enough

    February 7, 2011 at 12:55 am | Report abuse |
    • keith

      yep......good nuff........just like the degree that most americans graduate with.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:07 am | Report abuse |
    • keith

      that will last about as long as China makes us mad.........

      February 7, 2011 at 1:18 am | Report abuse |
    • matt

      EVERYONE who signs that anthem flubs. I have never heard anyone who did not flub this song.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Richard Gazinya

      I care, it was horrible. She made the anthem about "her". I applaud the effort but this was an epic fail!

      February 7, 2011 at 1:22 am | Report abuse |
    • CC

      "LOL and we run the world. Suck it long, and suck it hard, Trebek."

      Hahahahahahahahaha Can't stop laughing at this post. Man, It's good to be American!!!!!!

      February 7, 2011 at 1:31 am | Report abuse |
    • kimika

      No, it was NOT good enough! This song should be sung with dignity and tradition. Leave the theatrics at the theater! She totally butchered it!

      February 7, 2011 at 1:36 am | Report abuse |
    • dr.j

      Typical response from today's younger generation. No class!!

      February 7, 2011 at 1:36 am | Report abuse |
    • oakie

      ""LOL and we run the world. Suck it long, and suck it hard, Trebek."

      Hahahahahahahahaha Can't stop laughing at this post. Man, It's good to be American!!!!!!"

      yes. it's such a great feeling to be able to arrogantly celebrate our mediocrity as a society. mediocrity is allowed to vote for our country's leadership... obviously there is no way a democracy can fail. sadly, Americans are proving Winston Churchill's quote to be a prophetic one; "the best argument against democracy is a 5-minute conversation with the average voter."


      February 7, 2011 at 1:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      She couldnt sing the anthem if she got all the words right..............................................She is to preocupied with wanting to add her own personal touch to the melody. It would of been a thousand times a better idea to give the oportunity to the little girl with the big voice Jackie Evancho.......................................................

      February 7, 2011 at 1:44 am | Report abuse |
    • stormy123

      It was'nt good enough period. It was HORRIBLE! That the sad half time show makes me think....gosh, is that what America cares about?....these people and their money, fashion, fame? What happened to making quality music, quality of character, ideals, showing up for charity events (ie Prince), American apple pie and all that used to make us a great country? I just think America is going down the tubes. Too much stupidy and shallow ideals....this music has no soul whatsoever

      February 7, 2011 at 1:55 am | Report abuse |
    • stormy123

      Next year lets have Janet Jackson, Fergie, and Christina stand on stage at halftime and the Chairman of the FCC rip off their tops. Now thats at least entertaining television...

      February 7, 2011 at 2:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Just Saying

      Bad anthem. Bad halftime show. Bad commercials. Both teams played bad. Worst super Bowl in memory!

      February 7, 2011 at 2:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Karl H

      I care. And it wasn't good enough – it was disgusting. Like most of the morons who sing that song these days and don't get it. First of all if your memorization skills suck that bad – have a prompter. Second, this song (which to most thinking Americans is for all intents and purposes – hymn-like) is not the time for you to show off you insane vibrato or screaming skills or to show us that you can hold a note for 42 minutes. Sing the song with strength, pride and a hefty dose of reverence. It should sound beautiful – not crass and obnoxious. It's not a rock song. Christina sounded like she was giving birth – not singing. Check your effin ego at the door!

      February 7, 2011 at 2:17 am | Report abuse |
    • JeffinAlaska

      That was the most horrible performance of the Star Spangled Banner that I have EVER listened to. Sometimes I think Martina McBride should be the only professional singer allowed to perform it in public. She truly delivers it the way I think it should be.

      February 7, 2011 at 2:26 am | Report abuse |
    • John

      Yes, it was good enough. It was beautiful, and it's the thought that counts. Lay off Christina.

      February 7, 2011 at 2:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Grant

      She is not the first. If you are old enough to remember, Willie Nelson flubbed it even worse.

      February 7, 2011 at 3:09 am | Report abuse |
    • jackson

      Willie had an excuse – he was stoned out of his mind.

      February 7, 2011 at 4:08 am | Report abuse |
    • backhome

      As a Service member I find it INSULTING. I have to remember Creeds passed on. I know this song by verse by verse. And can explain most of it. I have friends that have died for this country. Before anyone shows up with only a paycheck in mind learn the lyrics first

      February 7, 2011 at 4:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Doug Davies

      Remember Rome, remember Nero and the fiddle, remember the fires that burned Rome? Where is our country today? Get the fiddles.

      February 7, 2011 at 4:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Patrick

      Maybe if those who attempted to sing our National Anthem would just sing the written notes rather than warbling all over the musical scale they might be able to concentrate on getting the words right and have a nice rendition of a national classic.

      February 7, 2011 at 5:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Kittyhawk

      No, it was not good enough; being asked to perform the National Anthem at the biggest sporting event on the planet is an honor and a privledge, and should be taken seriously. How do you get lost in the song in the first verse? By being more concerned with showing your range than singing the song as it was meant to be sung. @ matt, I am not sure where you are getting your information, or what events you are watching, but I rarely see anyone mess up the Anthem. I put Christina's performance last night second to Rosanne's as the worst rendention in history.

      February 7, 2011 at 5:58 am | Report abuse |
    • darlen

      Actually we should care.....come on, everyone SHOULD know the words!! She's a perfect example of HOLLYWOOD loud mouths. We're sick of them!

      February 7, 2011 at 6:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Atlas

      No one is infallible. The woman has an incredible voice, and I am sure she is horrified that she flubbed.

      February 7, 2011 at 6:42 am | Report abuse |
    • MaryB

      No, it was not good enough. Never mind the flubbing of the lines. That has happened before, although I've heard many renditions sung beautifully and flawlessly, so it can be done. Focus on the fact that this woman has little talent and is all about self-promotion. Whether or not she had flubbed the line, she still totally destroyed our National Anthem.

      February 7, 2011 at 6:48 am | Report abuse |
  3. moses

    i guess that what you call traditional white makes it all right

    February 7, 2011 at 1:00 am | Report abuse |
  4. Freddie

    Christina Aguilera Star Spangled Banner parody – founding fathers watch and react (all in fun)

    February 7, 2011 at 1:06 am | Report abuse |
  5. truthinrock

    It's not like she's a professional singer....... jeez

    February 7, 2011 at 1:10 am | Report abuse |
    • ed

      This isn't the first time she performs the national anthem, and this is the first mistake she makes.

      February 7, 2011 at 2:35 am | Report abuse |
    • John

      @ed, is this the first time you replies to a post online? Is this the first time you makes mistake? Seriously, Ed, you can't even type in proper English, so STFU!

      February 7, 2011 at 2:58 am | Report abuse |
  6. Scott

    I'm sure she feels horrible.....but the article on AOL says she "let down America"....COME ON MAN!!! It's not that big of a deal.

    February 7, 2011 at 1:10 am | Report abuse |
    • dr.j

      It is a hell of a big deal. It shows the total lack of respect from today's youth. She is an embarassment to our country. She should be ashamed. Get a singer who knows how to sing to do the anthem. It hasn't been sung properly for many years now.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Will

      It's totally not a big deal. Who cares? She messed up some lyrics to some song. She's embarrassed enough. The universe didn't collapse in on itself. Get some perspective. There are bigger issues than whether Aguilera knows the lyrics to the national anthem.

      February 7, 2011 at 3:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Bradley

      @Dr.J: Youth? Christina Aguilera is at least 30 by now. She's married and has children too, It's not as if she's an out of control teen who has no respect. She made a mistake live in front of the entire country. Could you perform under that stress?

      February 7, 2011 at 3:52 am | Report abuse |
    • LiBra29

      Gotta love the bitter baby boomers who blame every little mishap on "America's youth." Look at the state of our country. That's YOUR generation's doing Dr. J! Christina's singing mistake has nothing to do with America's youth.

      February 7, 2011 at 5:49 am | Report abuse |
  7. Dave in NH

    Hey, it was far better than the halftime show.

    February 7, 2011 at 1:14 am | Report abuse |
    • james

      Came here to say the exact same thing. The Black Eyed Peas were horrible...

      February 7, 2011 at 1:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Brent


      February 7, 2011 at 1:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Randy

      I agree...both Christina and the Black-eyed peas were pitiful. Let's get some professionals next year...

      February 7, 2011 at 4:50 am | Report abuse |
  8. Peter E

    It's not news until Sarah Palin reacts to it! Come on CNN, I just can't get enough of a political nobody's opinions! We want more Sarah Palin stories!

    February 7, 2011 at 1:17 am | Report abuse |
    • mike

      peter, LOVE the comment!

      February 7, 2011 at 2:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Gerry

      LOLOL... Absolutely the BEST comment on this subject... Yah CNN have you called Sarah yet?

      February 7, 2011 at 4:10 am | Report abuse |
  9. Brian

    I'm not really a fan, but she's a talented singer. She's done the song before just fine.

    Even if you're a professional, which essentially none of you are, I'd like to see you try and sing in front of a crowd of a hundred thousand while being televised live to tens of millions nationally and millions more overseas. A little intimidating, no?

    February 7, 2011 at 1:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Sherri

      Sorry, but she is a professional. She was paid (I'm sure). She should have made it her job to know the words.If you know millions will be watching, you damn well need to learn the words. It is our national anthem. If she can't take the time to learn it, she should have not taken the job. It is disrespectful to 'flub' a national anthem. It is unprofessional, lazy and sloppy.

      February 7, 2011 at 2:49 am | Report abuse |
  10. Kenny

    Maybe real Americans should sing it. YA THINK.

    February 7, 2011 at 1:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Danigirl65

      exactly what do you mean by "real Americans?"

      February 7, 2011 at 2:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Vinny G

      You do realize she IS American, right? Idiot.

      February 7, 2011 at 4:00 am | Report abuse |
  11. Kenny

    I wonder why no one trieed to get Sarah Palin to sing it. Oh she charges to much and probably doesn't know the words. The only thing she knows is ...................... is ................ oh forget it.

    February 7, 2011 at 1:27 am | Report abuse |
  12. tammy

    Forget about the mistake, the whole song was horrible! She was yelling and extremely deep. I turned if off because, I couldn't take it anymore!

    February 7, 2011 at 1:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Brent

      i thought it was too much yelling too. I heard there was a betting line on how long it would take to sing the Athem. Something like over/under at 1:30. I wonder if she had any money riding on herself?

      February 7, 2011 at 1:46 am | Report abuse |
  13. Mister M

    Who Run the World ??? America ??? I think America has a huge loan with China ! so who run the world ??? maybe you are talking about facebook and google right ???

    February 7, 2011 at 1:29 am | Report abuse |
  14. Kasey

    LOL. "Just got lost in the moment" NOOOO Christina. You lost your place because you were making every word over 10 syllable.s STOP EMBELLISHING. If people kept our anthem sung how it SHOULD be, people wouldn't forget the words. Naturally its hard to keep track of what you just sang when The word "The" just took you literally over 5 seconds to sing, embellishing it with many syllables and many different pitches! DUHHHHH!

    February 7, 2011 at 1:35 am | Report abuse |
  15. Flafox

    She so messed that up....the best rendition of that song, goes to Whitney Houston.

    February 7, 2011 at 1:36 am | Report abuse |
    • ed

      Agreed, but Aguilera keeps having the best female vocals in history despite this mistake, since she's a soprano, not a mezzo-soprano like Houston.

      February 7, 2011 at 2:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Beeker255


      February 7, 2011 at 2:42 am | Report abuse |
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