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. chris

    The anthem was bad, granted. But the Black Eyed peas overloaded, and phoned in half time show was perhaps the worst in super bowl history. The thing went way too long, and I wonder how many people had seizures because of the many uneeded flashing lights.

    February 7, 2011 at 8:52 am | Report abuse |
  2. Big Game James

    But how bout my Big Pimpin' Yankees!?! Cameron Diaz hand-feeding A-Rod!! Go Yankees!!

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

    Just a terrible performance, terrible rendition. You'd think with the money these performers bring in, they'd at least practice it a few times before performing it. She should be totally embarrassed.

    February 7, 2011 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |
  4. Anonymous

    When I first heard Christina Aguilera flub the National Anthem incorrectly I was greatly disappointed. However... I certainly believe that people make "mistake's," and that it is only "human" to do so, but I also believe that if you are being paid million's of dollars to perform your countries iconic song that represent AMERICANS then you MUST get the lyrics right. There is no excuse's. That is my opinion, and I am not here to offend anyone. Aside from that... The PACKERS kicked the STEELERS ass!!! Woot, woot!!!

    February 7, 2011 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |
  5. kilmoturtles

    I'm so tired of hearing these people make a mockery out of our anthem. It is not a song THEY created. They need to stop trying to show off their range and sing it like it was meant to be sung. Nobody gives a damn about their range and style!
    No wonder so many countries can't stand us. Our arrogance is disgusting!

    February 7, 2011 at 8:54 am | Report abuse |
  6. Cindy

    I have never made a "comment," to these articles before, but I must say....that was one of the worst national anthem renditions I have ever heard. Aguilera should be embarrassed! One thing to mix up the words, but who wants to listen to her "scream," the song. classless– it's not a rock concert! Our country has been through hell the last few least honor our country by singing the correct words!!! And no....I did not "feel " for our country when you sang. You were too busy giving a poor rock performance.

    February 7, 2011 at 8:54 am | Report abuse |
  7. Alan in New Mexico

    Bleached hair, screaming and yelling like a madwoman do not help ignorance.

    February 7, 2011 at 8:54 am | Report abuse |
  8. cc_lewis

    Not only did she screw up the lyrics, but she also sounded terrible! Caught up in the moment??? No...She was not prepared. I'm un-friending her on FB.

    February 7, 2011 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
  9. Kim

    What an honor to sing the National Anthem. You practice and make sure you have the words right. This is not the first time she's sang in front of a large audience after all. She says she hopes we felt the love anyway. I did not feel it from her.

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

    I don't even mind that she forgot the words, we're all human. What bothered me is she tried to use this as an opportunity to showcase her talent, as if to steal the thunder from the teams that had fought hard to get there. I'd still rather listen to her than that poor choice of half-time show. Even going into it with an open mind, the Black Eyed Peas were horrible. They sounded like a poor rendition of a small town high school musical.

    February 7, 2011 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
  11. JoeJoe9

    At least she wasn't lip sinc'ing! Gotta give her credit for that, and the fact she sang it melodically awesome and on key. Who cares that much about the words anyhow, especially that particular line?

    February 7, 2011 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Cat

      On key, yes, "Melodically awesome"? PLEASE! Anyone listening to that rendition STILL would not know the real tune of the National Anthem, even if they listened to it a hundred times.

      February 7, 2011 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
  12. tiredodacrap

    Anyone who would support her is an idiot! Not only should she know the words as a US citizen, but it wasn't like she was hired to sing the song the day before the game. She's had months to get ready, set up her performance, and know the words. Maybe, just maybe, if she had tried to just sing the song and not make it some ridiculous performance, she'd have done alright!

    February 7, 2011 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
  13. Erik

    I'm swedish and even I know the lyrics. It breaks my heart to see such a bad rendition of a very powerful and proud anthem

    February 7, 2011 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
  14. Dennis

    She's a supposed "professional" . Learn the words and sing it like it was written.

    February 7, 2011 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
  15. Bemused

    She sang it with feeling and she didn't have any bad notes. What is with you all? Did the sun not rise this morning because she messed up the antiquated lyrics to some overbaked poem that should never have been made the national anthem in the first place? You want a stirring anthem, check out Ray Charles' take on America the Beautiful. The Star-Spangled Banner has always been lame. I guarantee more than half the people watching didn't remember the right words anyway, but they were very quick to judge this girl so harshly for stumbling on ONE line in front of tens of thousands of spectators and a hundred million viewers at home. Get over yourselves, 'Merica.

    February 7, 2011 at 8:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Cat

      I agree that "America the Beautiful" should be our National Anthem. But, since it isn't, this should be sung with respect and dignity, not to be a show off. I would have loved to hear that little girl from "America's Got Talent" sing it. I can pretty much guarantee that she would have done it straight and gotten the words right.

      February 7, 2011 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
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