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. Erika

    The halftime show was the best since 2004 with Janet Jackson clothing malfunction.

    February 7, 2011 at 8:21 am | Report abuse |
  2. BIGW

    They should off let CA perform in the half-gime show and the BEPeas do the national anthem instead. That half-time show was Terrible. Hopefully next time they get a group that can sing and has better songs.

    February 7, 2011 at 8:21 am | Report abuse |
  3. ER

    If you care about your country anthem have your national sing it. Foreigner will always mess it up. They may be a superstart. But, they lack of nationalism.

    February 7, 2011 at 8:22 am | Report abuse |
  4. cartman

    LIked her rendition, yeah she flubbed it but the voice was true. I've heard everybody flub this song. I actually like America the Beautiful myself.


    February 7, 2011 at 8:22 am | Report abuse |
  5. dimongirl

    I am amazed that the excuse for why she butchered the song was that she got lost in the moment. It also seems that she thought to add her own flavor to a traditional song by added more syllables and whatever else that was to a beautiful piece of music. As a veteran, I am always appalled by these stars who try to come out and attempt to be patriotic. Next time, sing the song properly and not use the opportunity to sing our National Anthem as some sort of publicity stunt.

    February 7, 2011 at 8:22 am | Report abuse |
  6. OJ

    Too much vocal messing around, stop already.

    February 7, 2011 at 8:23 am | Report abuse |
  7. Big Game James

    Most of you are just hating because she makes more many than most of us. I'm sure as your week continues YOU WILL make a mistake. And the halftime show was well choreagraphed and UP TO DATE!! We can't watch aging, barely coherent/comatose, WHITE bands (which is the reason most of you are mad anyway) every year!!

    February 7, 2011 at 8:23 am | Report abuse |
    • OJ

      Agree it was nice to have a current act for the halftime got us thinking about how long BEP have been around.

      Still not fond of the overstylized R&B style of singing, Christina is a good singer, she doesn't have to beat us over the head with it.

      February 7, 2011 at 8:28 am | Report abuse |
  8. Denese

    I don't understand why they don't use a teleprompter. That way, if the crowd makes a lot of noise, or they get nervous, they can use the teleprompter to see where they are at. I've seen singers tape things to the floor of the stage or to the back of a guitar to help them know where they are at.

    February 7, 2011 at 8:23 am | Report abuse |
  9. Scratchee

    You know, it's possible to not like a singer's style (or even their voice) without having to act like that singer has no talent.

    I'll throw in with Christina...I think she sounded good in spite of flubbing the lyrics. She was NOT "yelling and screeching."

    I would prefer "America the Beautiful" as a national anthem, though.

    February 7, 2011 at 8:24 am | Report abuse |
  10. Joe

    Get a real singer, stop having the pop stars sing it they all do the same thing, let me show off my vocal range on the national anthem. Why not just sing it as it is intended instead of trying to impress everyone like your at a Karaokee contest. Seriously get some REAL Talent like Sarah Brightman to sing it!

    February 7, 2011 at 8:26 am | Report abuse |
  11. alpg49

    Typical of the whole affair: Totally ugly game (most notable plays were fumbles, interceptions, and dropped passes, and a shanked field goal), commercials that had me running for the remote, 400 fans without seats. On the plus side, no one's clothes fell off during the halftime show.

    February 7, 2011 at 8:26 am | Report abuse |
  12. Jim Hitch

    Why do you people at CNN insist on posting calendars that pretend Monday is the first day of the week. For 74 years, every calendar I ever owned showed Sunday as the first day. I'm a fan, but if you are tryint to appear neutral on Christianity, I don't appreciate it.

    February 7, 2011 at 8:26 am | Report abuse |
  13. jim

    Where is roseanne when we need her?

    February 7, 2011 at 8:28 am | Report abuse |
  14. Dave G

    Seriously get some real talen like Sarah Brightman. Stop having these pop stars that thing they have to show off their vocal range and stylize the national anthem it sounded horrible and your not impressing anyone. We should be absolutely embarassed that we dont know our own national anthem.

    February 7, 2011 at 8:28 am | Report abuse |
  15. Sue

    Get Hollywood out of the Super Bowl! What was with all the 'red carpet' crap – the foot league doesn't tread into Hollywood's community – keep these idiots out of the football world! I was quite amused at some of the interviews with the stars – if they don't have a script to follow – I don't think any of them could tie their own shoe laces.

    February 7, 2011 at 8:28 am | Report abuse |
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