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. me

    Sometime in the future instead of hiring someone to sing it what about having the ticketholders sing it?

    February 7, 2011 at 7:41 am | Report abuse |
  2. Beatlebob2

    The reason she flubbed the line is because she was too busy sticking in as many inflections as humanly possible.
    This all started with Jose Feliciano, and they have been trying to out inflect each other ever since.
    This was the WORST version of our National Anthem I have ever heard. It turned my stomach. Almost as much as that disgraceful and unprofessional excuse for an interview with our President b yBill 'upchuck' Oreally

    February 7, 2011 at 7:41 am | Report abuse |
  3. Koali

    Tough song – which is why you prepare and focus! Find tricks to learn those lines. Understandable but not professional. Kids do better than that here at home. Sorry, I think you are really good ordinarily. Shouldn't have left a footprint there – do it – it's done then step away. Now you are plastered on the internet – flubbin' it.
    Bad hair too.

    February 7, 2011 at 7:42 am | Report abuse |
  4. jimmy

    maybe next time they will hire a real singer and not just a poser!

    February 7, 2011 at 7:42 am | Report abuse |
  5. FlyNYC

    Christina got her start in music at the age of twelve singing the Star Spangled Banner at professional sporting events. She's sang the anthem more than most, including games 6 and 7 of last year's NBA Finals. People have off days and make mistakes. What's the big deal?

    Watch her rendition from game 6 of the 2010 NBA Finals (YouTube). She sang the botched line perfectly, with an excellent performance.

    February 7, 2011 at 7:44 am | Report abuse |
  6. cwby

    Yes, she screwed up the words. And I agree with most that her "version" was not enjoyable.
    But the posts like "she should be punished" and those taking it as if it's a personal attack on themselves the country need to get a life. Those posts are just as over-the-top as her singing.

    People are just a bit too weird about this stuff anymore. It's becoming an illness.

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

      Totally agree cwby. People seem to think being anonymous gives them freedom to be as mean and spiteful as possible. I wonder how they would like it if the public got to comment on their lives and any screwups they ever make, or what they look like. Why does everything have to be a personal attack these days?

      February 7, 2011 at 8:22 am | Report abuse |
  7. LaShonda M.

    Aguilera murdered the song. It was tough to watch and I thought it could not get any worse...until the BlackAss Peas did the half-time show. They were dreadful. And don't get me started on Usher. Was he singing or doing an aerobics demo? Jerry Jones is a plastic-surgery loving boob.

    February 7, 2011 at 7:46 am | Report abuse |
  8. daremoe

    Typical of the time. what passes for talent these days is very questionable.

    February 7, 2011 at 7:46 am | Report abuse |
  9. pAPAmILT

    Wouldn't it be wonderful if all these whiners, criers & shouters would expend some of their concern on something important? Forget it!

    February 7, 2011 at 7:48 am | Report abuse |
  10. Koali

    It's 'And crown thy hood with brotherhood....." Hood is mountain. Like Mt. Hood. Beautiful high mountain.

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

      Sorry, it's "crown thy good with brotherhood" not like the name of a mountain.

      February 7, 2011 at 8:11 am | Report abuse |
  11. farmer'swife

    Note to NFL: Next year, try hiring Jim Cornelison. He's the opera singer who sang the National Anthem at the conference championship game between Green Bay and Chicago. Now there is a voice AND rendition that will not disappoint!

    February 7, 2011 at 7:48 am | Report abuse |
  12. Digusted

    Yet another singer butchering our National Anthem. These singers just cannot sing the song they way it is suppose to be sung. Try singing another countries national anthem the wrong way and lets see what happens to them. At least those countries have pride, respect, and honor WE as a nation have become a joke!!!!!!!!!!

    February 7, 2011 at 7:49 am | Report abuse |
  13. jberry

    Poor Christina (NOT). Maybe if she hadn't been so focused on how many musical notes she could cram into one syllable words and instead sang the song as it was reverently written, then maybe she could have been flawless....another narcissistic flub.

    February 7, 2011 at 7:49 am | Report abuse |
  14. buddy

    She sang like the upper part of her body was caught in an old ringer type clothes dryer.

    February 7, 2011 at 7:50 am | Report abuse |
  15. David

    People are always finding a reason to criticize others. I am a disabled Vietnam combat veteran who felt that Ms. Aguilera did a beautiful job with our national anthem. As always, the song brought tears to my eyes and made me feel proud to be an American. The song is not an easy one to sing by any means. As far as I am concerned, getting a word or two mixed-up takes nothing away from the songs’ meaning. This story is not news worthy and the only people who are upset are Steelers Fans. Think I’ll go fix myself a grilled cheese sandwich.

    February 7, 2011 at 7:51 am | Report abuse |
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