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. LiBra29

    It seems like Christina is going through a lot right now. Her divorce is all over the news and singing at the Superbowl is a lot of pressure. I know she's a professional singer who got paid tons of money for this, but everyone makes mistakes. Including all of you who sit behind your computers and criticize others when you probably couldn't do any better. People on here are acting like she gave the flag the middle finger. It was an accident! I do, however, think her statement about it sounded a little fake. That was definitely her publicist talking. Maybe people would be more sympathetic if her apology/explanation sounded a little more sincere.

    February 7, 2011 at 5:54 am | Report abuse |
  2. Renwick

    This was our national anthem she was supposed to sing....She not only missed the words but embellished if to the point of looking the fool......She missed words, missed notes and sane flat more times than I care to recount.......The Super Bowl went to a lot of expense and trouble to have the Declaration of Independence read....only to allow that Clown to make a fool of herself......I think that that that song should be sung as it was written with out the artists classless interpretation.

    February 7, 2011 at 5:56 am | Report abuse |
  3. CaseyE

    It's not a hymn, it's not a lack of patriotism, it's a mistake made under pressure. A minor mistake. The song is based on an old bawdy people used to sing when they DRANK. Don't act like she committed some sin unto God and Country by flubbing a line. She sang the song how she sings, you could tell she was putting her heart into it which is fine by me. And as for the absurd comment she does a disservice to the military or anyone who served, that's inane. No one served based solely on the National Anthem, and if they did they were whack.

    Lay off the hyper-patriotism, it's not what this nation is about. Same idiots who expose it are the same one crying for "States Rights" and waving "Don't Tread on Me" flags. Irony is lost upon them.

    February 7, 2011 at 5:59 am | Report abuse |
  4. richp

    one would think that the applicant for the singing would at least have had to demonstrate they knew the words...

    February 7, 2011 at 6:01 am | Report abuse |
  5. LiBra29

    Christina is half Ecuadorian, half European born in the USA. Believe it or not, Mexico and Ecuador are two different countries. Do I need to send you a link to a map?

    February 7, 2011 at 6:02 am | Report abuse |
  6. Sam

    Give the gal a break. She did the most human thing possible, she made a minor mistake. She is much better to see and hear that almost all other folks.

    February 7, 2011 at 6:06 am | Report abuse |
  7. schoolsub

    In addition to the messed up words, the rendition was absolutely horrendous. The National Anthem should be sung without all of the extra notes and theatrics. The vocalist should sing it as it was sung when Francis Scott Key's poem was originally put to music. It should be sung in a fashion that does not include body gyrations and arm movements. Lastly, it should be sung in the key of A-flat. It should never be followed by applause or the words "play ball". It should not be screamed, yelled, or wailed. It is NOT a pop song!

    February 7, 2011 at 6:06 am | Report abuse |
  8. It's Me

    She is an IDIOT. She sings for living how can she get "lost in the moment"? Seems she is too stupid to care about our country and our National Anthem. And for those of you who don't care tell that to a soldier who is fighting for YOUR freedoms and security. Better yet go enlist and join them in the war in Afghanistan then maybe you will understand.

    February 7, 2011 at 6:09 am | Report abuse |
  9. Carl

    Personally, I'm pretty disgusted with the "performance" of many of the celebrity renditions of the national anthem – including that of Christina Aguilera. It's one thing to leave out or alter parts of the song, it's quite another when their attempts to personalize or make it their own renders the song unrecognizable. Just sing it as it's supposed to be song. And the halftime show....Fergie?? I'm sorry...she may look good, but she was definitely out of her element with those songs she was singing. Who makes the decisions on Super Bowl entertainment?? They need to find a new line of work.

    February 7, 2011 at 6:20 am | Report abuse |
  10. Dude

    Who cares. We in America have bigger problems to worry about. Next.

    February 7, 2011 at 6:23 am | Report abuse |
  11. Robertson

    Why is it that they have to pick whoever is up on the pop charts? It's like getting the Three Irish Tenors to sing rap. Give me the guy that sings it for the Chicago Blackhawks! Now there's a guy who can sing the national anthem! When he's done your chest is out with a tear in your eye and proud to be an American! Take your celebs and leave them for the bad half-time show.

    February 7, 2011 at 6:24 am | Report abuse |
  12. Terri

    I got caught up with the excitement and watching those soldiers from Afganistan...................BUT, I still sang the whole song.................Should of hired me, they would have saved $1 million bucks!!!!

    February 7, 2011 at 6:26 am | Report abuse |
  13. Vickki Lewis

    As a product of a military family I was completely disappointed and offended when I realized that not only had Christina Aguilera changed the words but had also missed a verse. I understand to error is only human however she comes from a military family and has performed that song before therefore making this incident ever more unacceptable. I felt as though it was a slap in the face in regards to the representation of this county and in a time when we have troops deployed in other countries her apology should have been towards them and their families who are living the lyrics to the song. I am in the same age group as Ms. Aguilera and has been a fan of hers since her Mickey Mouse Club House days but as of yesterday I will call myself a fan no more.

    February 7, 2011 at 6:32 am | Report abuse |
  14. Nicole

    Would it be racist if I said I wish she sung it traditionally?

    February 7, 2011 at 6:34 am | Report abuse |
  15. kimhalls

    If you are in a home and want to refinance, 2 things are absolutely key. First, you must have meaningful equity in your home. Second, you must have a good credit score. But in this economy if you do not have both of them still you could get a good rate, Search online for "123 Mortgage Refi" they gave me the lowest rate of 3.45% my credit history is not so good.

    February 7, 2011 at 6:38 am | Report abuse |
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