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)


    February 7, 2011 at 8:39 am | Report abuse |
    • RabiaDiluvio

      ...and you supposedly love this country and freedom, but you would behave like a raving lunatic totalitarian dictator when it comes to someone singing in a way you don't like? I didn't like last night much either, but dang...I'm not gonna put someone in front of a firing squad for it. After all, people are dying for her right to mangle that song.

      February 7, 2011 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Tracey

      So much for land of the free and home of the brave, LOL. Oh gosh, the irony . . .

      February 7, 2011 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
  2. scredly

    No excuse for flubbing the words. I am not a fan of vocal gymnastics in general -singing "around " the note -especially so much of it -it's no longer an effect when it's done all the time. I like it even less so in the National Anthem. Clearly, she has vocal talent. She actually sang live. Unfortunately, she made some poor performance decisions.

    February 7, 2011 at 8:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Battletor4

      No excuse for flubbing the words? Find me one professional singer that has not flubbed the words to something during a live performance... especially a strophic (versed) song in front of a few billion people. No pressure! I'm a professional singer whose worst fear is mangling the words but it's one of the things that just happens to a brain under pressure. The important part is that you carry on, regardless.

      February 7, 2011 at 8:51 am | Report abuse |
  3. Shea

    I totally agree!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LET THE FANS SING IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 7, 2011 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |
  4. Dave_kat

    I wish Whitney Houston could have done her rendition live, if so it would be the standard of perfection and undisputed in the history books. Her version was effortless, beautiful, and simply breathtaking!

    February 7, 2011 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Big Game James

      But for her the PIPE is simply breath-taking too!!

      February 7, 2011 at 8:42 am | Report abuse |
  5. Deli

    A national disgrace.

    February 7, 2011 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |
  6. Big Game James

    America's Funniest Videos made a show out of clips of people messing up the anthem. It's difficult to begin with and then the fact that so many people HAVE messed it up is in the back of your mind!!

    February 7, 2011 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
  7. Annoyed

    The reason she got lost was because she was doing that ridiculous warbling bs. I hate when these people get up there and try to make it into this spectacle about them and their ability to do stupid things with their voices that nobody wants to hear. If they want to sing the anthem in the spirit it was written, then sing it as it was written.

    February 7, 2011 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
  8. barbara

    Ugh, maybe a teleprompter should be used next time.... just in case. Or maybe if we didn't have such a phobia about being pro-american in this country, the national anthem would be sung more and more people would know the darn words to it. But that said.... singers do get caught up in the emotion and yes, it's not uncommon for them to mix up lines. Give her a break.... but next time a teleprompter.

    February 7, 2011 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
  9. DC Observer

    We all have Whitney Houston to blame for these horrible renditions of the National Anthem. Ever since she decided to add 5 minutes of b*** s*** add libs to her "famous" version of the song in the early 1990's, every wannabe soul singer that gets a chance to show off in front of a crowd has to try and out do her.

    I hated it then and I hate it even more now. JUST SING THE SONG AND GET OFF THE STAGE! This is not a concert to honor your new solo project. NOBODY wants to heat all of that whining. We the American people are NOT IMPRESSED.

    February 7, 2011 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Big Game James

      Yeah more old white guys need to sing it!!

      February 7, 2011 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
  10. enuphsaid

    HATERS! Get off Christina's case. It happens. She screwed up. And what's the big deal about that. I'm sure for most of you, your entire life is a screw-up. half of the women who have posted hater comments, are only hating because they don't look half as good as Christina does and the guys with the hater comments, get serious. Does it matter if she screwed up the lyrics? She's still a great artist and I'm sure none of you would turn down the opportunity to have her.'re a h0m0.

    February 7, 2011 at 8:42 am | Report abuse |
  11. ryan

    Yet again, we get our tails in a flap over something incredibly minute that really doesnt matter, while we continue to ignore important issues like poverty and disease. The superbowl is a celebration of excess, and embarrassingly stark indicator of how the rich simply ignore the poor.

    February 7, 2011 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Big Game James

      You got picked last during recess!!

      February 7, 2011 at 8:54 am | Report abuse |
  12. Todd W

    I caught the flub, and thought "not the first time that's happened" and moved on. I didn't care for her vocal flourishes, and would have preferred to hear the song sung straight. I was blown away during the World Series this year by Lyle Lovett's singing of the National Anthem. He sang it straight, and with pride. He's from Texas, I think they could have got him to appear.

    February 7, 2011 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
  13. sean hannity

    Well she's probaly an unamerican nazi liberal who ruined our great anthem on purpose. Next time we should get someone who supports conservatives, I'd say Brittney Spears.

    February 7, 2011 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
  14. sissy

    Brighton>>> it's not funny WAY screw it up..why not sing it with it deserves 2 be sang...she's just showing her butt...

    February 7, 2011 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
  15. lisa

    this discussion is really in the cesspool

    February 7, 2011 at 8:44 am | Report abuse |
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