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. Sensible_Centrist

    Best national anthem EVER sung at ANY game: Huey Lewis and the News. PERFECT harmony. TIGHT TIGHT TIGHT. At least those guys knew what they were doing, unlike Bimbo Blondie.

    February 7, 2011 at 8:10 am | Report abuse |
  2. RichG

    I hate country music but since the bowl was in Texas they should have played country.

    February 7, 2011 at 8:10 am | Report abuse |
  3. historian

    Enrico Palatso where are you?

    February 7, 2011 at 8:11 am | Report abuse |
  4. LAHKY

    My six year old son started laughing during one of her growls and then our entire family was laughing the rest of the way through the song. He said, "That was awful!"

    February 7, 2011 at 8:12 am | Report abuse |
  5. bigdaddyj

    Hey, at least it proves she wasn't lip-synching!!!

    February 7, 2011 at 8:13 am | Report abuse |
  6. Trumpet player

    When I was a kid, the announcer at a sporting event would say something along the lines of "Pleae rise and join [insert performer's name] as he [she] leads us in singing the national anthem." It was not a solo. It was not an opportunity for individual recognition. It is an anthem. It is intended to be sung collectively. As such, it should be performed in a manner (style and tempo) that allows a large group to stay together. We need to stop asking singers (and I use that term loosely) to perform it as a solo, and find performers who can lead lead the crowd in singing the anthem. Just my opinion, though.

    February 7, 2011 at 8:13 am | Report abuse |
  7. 666

    In a statement released by her publicist, Aguilera explained what happened: "I got so Totally Tweaked & Wasted backstage that… ahhhh, what was I saying.”

    February 7, 2011 at 8:14 am | Report abuse |
  8. Paul M

    I've quit watching the women make a hash out of the National Anthem. They don't have the first clue as to how it should be sung. Personally I would just rather they play Jimi Hendrix's version and be done with it...

    February 7, 2011 at 8:15 am | Report abuse |
  9. Alina77

    Her voice sounded like somebody was pulling the bull for his horns and he desperately didn't want to go there. That's what happens when you leap singing all the time, I think she not only lost the words but her voice as well. It was very ugly singing. Less creativity (because that's how you screwing the song), more originality next time please.

    February 7, 2011 at 8:16 am | Report abuse |
  10. Concordantmind

    Get over yourselves. Seriously. It happens. And if you want to hear the pledge of allegiance sung without any "flair" then I suggest you sing to yourself in the mirror. Stars are hired to sing the national anthem in a unique way, not the same as anybody else. It's a shame she messed up the words but it happens sometimes when you are a "superstar" in front of millions aqnd millions of people....and you still got human genes. I don't like Aguilera but she knows the damn song and it HAPPENS. The NFL folks get these singers because you guys have turned this sport into an embrassing obsessive money making machine and it helps with the ratings. If you don't want your sport turned into an even further commercial nightmare I suggest you stop obsessing over it .....or hell at least focus on the game!

    February 7, 2011 at 8:17 am | Report abuse |
  11. Terri

    Are you kidding, not olny did she sing AWFUL................she looked like a witch with blond hair.............I could have done better, looked better and would have been alot less expensive....SO MUCH FOR BEING A PRO!

    February 7, 2011 at 8:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Concordantmind

      somebody took their venom this morning

      February 7, 2011 at 8:52 am | Report abuse |
  12. BillyD1953

    Big deal. Dumb song. Dumb words. The anthem is in worse shape than the country–and that's saying a lot. Didn't watch the Super Bore anyway.

    February 7, 2011 at 8:17 am | Report abuse |
  13. kevin

    wow, so many of these posters have never made a mistake. Amazing.

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

    I would like to see any of her critics sing this beautiful song in front of millions and do half as well... she has a powerful voice and her talent is beyond words... and she is human... do we all not make some mistakes.. even if we practice our hearts out!..mistakes can happen... .. it is so easy to be a critic when you have no talent equal to hers... She was wonderful and her presentation was very heartfelt! I believe famous people are put up on a pedistal of no error and that is just not the way it is...

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

    When I saw that they were going to have Aguilera sing the National Anthem, I cringed. I'm not a fan, mostly because of all the over-used vocal acrobatics she's known for. The acrobatics were used here, and not in a good way. Forget that she butchered an entire line- this rendition of the Anthem reinforced my opinion that most current pop singers aren't much without autotune.

    February 7, 2011 at 8:20 am | Report abuse |
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