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. George Robinson

    I noticed that during the National Anthem many of the players didn't bother to show the proper respect to the flag by putting their hand over their heart. One jerk was even jumping up and down. I think it is disgraceful, especially when we have troops fighting two wars.

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

      I agree with everyone who complained about how so many singers try to show off their scales. It actually makes me angry every time I hear a singer do that - I think the song is great how it is, and "artists" should respect that our National Anthem doesn't need to be made "better."

      Christina has to show off her scales in almost EVERY song. She's done this every time she's sang the Anthem. We get it, you USED to be able to belt out the scales... but not anymore. She sounds like she's starting to screech and not be able to hit the right notes. (Especially that note she tried to hold at the end... ew, flat.)

      She needs to focus on cleaning up her personal life, and stop butchering the Anthem and cover songs she does to try and show off. Just sayin'.

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

      Why is putting you hand on your heart the only way to show respect? Who dicyated thst rule? I thinking standing there quietly is just fine.

      February 7, 2011 at 7:46 am | Report abuse |
    • JD

      Would you be surprised to read that we used to use the same salute as the Nazis to the flag when reciting the pledge of allegiance? True. Wiser heads prevailed and that went away about the time of the rise of National Socialism.

      February 7, 2011 at 8:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Rebecca

      This hand over your heart thing is a fairly recent development. I was always taught to place my hand over my heart to say the Pledge of Allegiance, but to stand at attention during the national anthem.

      February 7, 2011 at 8:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Elroy

      I'm tired of everyone who tries to say how patriotic our service men and women are....truth is that most are only there because they couldn't find a job and they joined the military because it was steady employment and good benefits, and hey, they just might get to travel to Europe for training exercises.....Everyone keeps saying how brave and courageous these guys are, in reality, they would give anything to get their butts back home and would much rather see someone else over there fighting those animals. Now, I will say this, there are some true military heroes out there and many very fine soldiers. I'm just saying there are way more ordinary men and women who could care less about why they are fighing, they are just there because they have to and they are getting a paycheck.

      February 7, 2011 at 8:47 am | Report abuse |
  2. AGeek

    ...and THESE are the people Americans hand over millions of dollars to every year, as "entertainment". They're not professionals, they're hacks who don't know the f–king words to the National Anthem of the country that keeps them in business.

    Stop being sheep and stop keeping these media wh0res in business. Damn this is getting annoying!

    February 7, 2011 at 7:12 am | Report abuse |
  3. Billy K

    Most people don't know the words verbatim anyway..

    February 7, 2011 at 7:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Sam

      Yes, they probably don't. But, the don't get up in front of millions to sing it either. She should have prepared. Not professional at all. That's why her career is in the toilet.

      February 7, 2011 at 7:21 am | Report abuse |
  4. steve


    February 7, 2011 at 7:14 am | Report abuse |
  5. Audrey

    I just am chuckling. If you read several of the comments above many of them contain spelling errors "to" instead of "too", "your" instead of "you're", so cut Christina Ag. some slack. She's got a great voice and got the crowds going!

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

      So is my local high school cheerleaders if you just want to get the crowd going. LOL.

      BTW, is that a Hitler salute?

      February 7, 2011 at 8:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Mr. Perfect

      I agree. One of my biggest pet peeves is an idiot who doesn’t know the difference between to/too, your/you're and they're/their/there. A LARGE portion of Americans fall into this category and it makes me SICK. I'd like to see the same people get up in front of 100,000 people and sing ANY song. I'd put money on them screwing up “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”. She made a mistake. Give it up hypocrites.

      February 7, 2011 at 8:36 am | Report abuse |
    • hotheaded

      that is the most retarded thing i think i have read. so the poor spelling / grammar of a few people on cnn's comments should be the reason we cut christina some slack?

      wow. just wow. now i know why the US is in the toilet. too many dumb people!

      February 7, 2011 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Mr. Perfect

      You're an idiot.

      February 7, 2011 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
  6. Lisa

    It's not the first time and won't be the last time our national anthem is performed incorrectly but come on all you so called entertainers.... GET THE FREAKIN' WORDS RIGHT!

    February 7, 2011 at 7:17 am | Report abuse |
  7. SM

    Hiddeous performance. I just sang the national anthem as I was getting dressed and I sang it better than that warbling 'artist' – why did she have to put her own spin on the arrangement – who wants to hear it?

    February 7, 2011 at 7:18 am | Report abuse |
  8. MM

    In a word, PATHETIC. On top of her appearance of looking like a Cyndi Lauper reject. Insult to injury. I feel sorry for every person in uniform right now and anyone who has ever served in our Armed Forces who had to sit and endure that wretched performance.

    February 7, 2011 at 7:19 am | Report abuse |
    • BiddyBelle

      The people I know – in uniform – have already forgiven her.

      February 7, 2011 at 8:12 am | Report abuse |
  9. MB

    That doesn't sound like such a terrible "flub". There should be a list of how many singers got it RIGHT! ha!. That song is infamous fot Flubbing! The song should be changed to America anyway.

    February 7, 2011 at 7:21 am | Report abuse |
  10. Ken at the Lake

    Forgive me.....for the first time in my 63 years I walked away from that horrible rendition of our National Anthem. I do not know which was worse, her performance, the half time show or the Steelers Defense.

    February 7, 2011 at 7:21 am | Report abuse |
  11. mi17mtp

    I admit, she messed it up. I also am willing to bet more than half of the U.S. population doesn't even know the words to our National Anthem, granted they weren't supposed to sing at the the super bowl either.

    February 7, 2011 at 7:21 am | Report abuse |
  12. J0nx

    It sure hasn't been a good year for her. First the divorce, then the unfortunate weight gain (she looks like she swallowed a horse) and now the major flub at the most prestigious sporting event in the world. Yikes. Better get your act together Christina.

    February 7, 2011 at 7:26 am | Report abuse |
  13. mm

    In a word, PATHETIC. As if her Cyndi Lauper reject appearance wasn't bad enough, she had to insult every active duty service person watching and those who have ever served our country (myself included). How wretched and disgraceful regardless of the pressure. Performing our National Anthem is a privilege whether it's at a local high school function or on a national stage. The bottom line is you should be prepared. Paid professional entertainers have no excuses for botching performances. It's just ego and being way too self absorbed.

    February 7, 2011 at 7:26 am | Report abuse |
  14. SKY


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

      Sky I totally agree. If she was paid for that performance (BTW – she looked unkempt – go get your hair professionally done, hon) then she should return the her fee. She's got a great voice but just don't mess with my song - it has a melody and lyrics – just stick to them or decline the gig.

      February 7, 2011 at 7:54 am | Report abuse |
    • BiddyBelle

      God forbid the woman is human. She probably practices hundreds of times and got it right. Wish I was as perfect as you seem to think you are.

      February 7, 2011 at 8:10 am | Report abuse |
  15. Mary

    It's not the world's easiest song to sing.

    February 7, 2011 at 7:27 am | Report abuse |
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