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. BrianP

    She like so many clowns before her tried to make it about her instead of just singing it well. Is anyone actually impressed by all of those pointless, emotionless runs and gymnastics? Imagine if someone like Allison Krause had sung it instead, people would have had chills and she would have actually known the lyrics. Instead we get some "diva" showing off when she should be paying proper respect to a song that was FINE before she got there.

    February 7, 2011 at 8:44 am | Report abuse |
    • try4clarity

      agreed, agreed, agreed. her performance had nothing to do with her love for America. it was all about posturing and showing off. her last album tanked in comparison to her "glory days" so my guess is she and her handlers figured why not make the most of a captive audience.

      February 7, 2011 at 8:59 am | Report abuse |
  2. Dave_kat

    @Steve, i swear i have an Aunt who calls Janet Jackson "Janice Jackson" lol i can't stop laughing! what a coincidence!

    February 7, 2011 at 8:44 am | Report abuse |
  3. Big Game James

    Marvin Gaye @ the NBA all-star game or the Finals back in the eighties still the best ever!! Hendrix's rendition rocked!!

    February 7, 2011 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
  4. JFH

    Why don't they get someone from one of the military academy choirs to sing the anthem and leave the pop stars to perform at half time?

    February 7, 2011 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
  5. Jarhead Dave

    Well, she is no Whitney Houston, but as a a Marine I had no qualms with her rendition. By the way, it is a poem, not a song. Setting it to music was a bad idea then and a bad idea now. The words of Francis Scott Key should never be forgotten but the anthem should be changed.

    February 7, 2011 at 8:47 am | Report abuse |
  6. christian garcia

    Oh man, Whitney makes it look so easy! She is having the time of her life. When Christina sang it, she looked in pain. Poor girl tries too hard.

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

    Christina should have listen to Whitney Houston's version. Goggle it. Now that was some singing, and without a doubt the best I've ever heard.

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

    HAHAHAHA.....WOW it sure doesn't take much to rattle Yanks. Just forget a few parts to some tired 'OLE song and they want your head. Or was it because this was done at the Super Bowl....which in itself is just as lame. Hey Yanks...chill out a bit...get over it, have a beer, slap your buddy on the butt and say Good Game. But stop making such a big stink about your anthem and the shame it brings to troops overseas....I mean really it's that big of a deal??? I doubt it.

    February 7, 2011 at 8:47 am | Report abuse |
  9. Big Game James

    Show some respect for the anthem!! Sing it ONE way, by the same person, using the same notes, same pitch every time. Don't dare be different!! If you have an accent you are not allowed to sing it. As a matter of fact if you are not white and over 50 don't even bother coming to the game!!

    February 7, 2011 at 8:49 am | Report abuse |
  10. Jan

    Seriously, who picks these people to sing???? You even get kicked of American Idol if you don't know the words.

    February 7, 2011 at 8:49 am | Report abuse |
  11. RabiaDiluvio

    I am a little tired of the "look at me singing the anthem" versions of the anthem. What is with this rash of versions that are excessively stylized and tedious to sit through?
    Oh say can you seeeeyeeyeyeeyeeeaaayayayayayaaaauh
    Byyyiyiyi the dawn's early lihiyiyiyiyiaheyaaaahehaaaaiiiite
    What so prowwwwwwowowwoowwuwuwuwwiwiwiwiwiwuwwuvudly we hayaayailelyeaaaaal
    I am not a purist. I can handle a lttle flair. I don't believe that there is one sacred way it must be sung (after all, the lyrics are set to the tune of an old tavern song) but ffs people let's not sound like amateur night. The word "see" should be one syllable. There are many wonderful singers out there who can sing an anthem without putting so much ego into it. There are many wonderful singers associated with the armed forces and I would rather hear any one of them than hear another "star" butcher the anthem.

    February 7, 2011 at 8:50 am | Report abuse |
  12. Rick

    The fact that you had to include the correct words in the story are indicative of how much of an issue this really is.

    February 7, 2011 at 8:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Ben Butler


      February 7, 2011 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |
  13. Ben Butler

    The real problem here is not the professionalism of Christina. It is a serious lack of national pride. Really, the whole stadium should have been resonate with the voices of ALL the fans sing the national anthem. I am always moved by the crowds of other countries standing together and singing their anthem. were that the case here performers would not have the option to change the arrangement or cadence of the song. They would simply be leading the crowd not putting on a performance. Actually both songs were underwhelming due to the performers adding their own "flair" to them.

    February 7, 2011 at 8:52 am | Report abuse |
  14. steve

    Guess the hair bleach finally seeped into her brain.

    February 7, 2011 at 8:52 am | Report abuse |
  15. Lilith Rose

    No matter who sings it, I'd like to hear it sung as it was meant tibe sung. It's our national anthem, and I'd like it be respected (sung) as such.

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