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. R&Bsux

    What can you say, to the horrible selection from the NFL corperation with the national anthem to the half time show, Why do we just let MTV take over the responsiblity of corrigraphing the next superbowl. Maybe they'll make a reallity show out of it and you know have the "gangsta's" and their "ho's" parade around with 40's in one hand and 9mm in the other yelling "we own dis s**t". I like seeing the super bowl's with real talent like Tom Petty, ZZ Top, Aerosmith, Garth Brooks (retired) The people that praise this wonderful country not the nonsense that uses their money to exploit it.

    Next Super Bowl 50 cent sings the half time show and we can get Snookie from jersey shores to sing the national anthem

    February 7, 2011 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
  2. H8RAID

    regardless of her word screw up- she sounded like a goat getting a prostate exam... she needs to stop with her hand gesture crap too.

    just sing the damn song already. I'm sick of how she always tries to use 5000000000000000000000 notes in every song she sings.

    and yes, fergie & BEP were horrible too. between christina and fergie- I think I rather hear a baby cry after beiong scalded by a pan of boiling water.


    February 7, 2011 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
  3. Court

    Please. John Roberts messed up Obama's inaugural oath and Michelle Bachmann thought the Founding Fathers tried to abolish slavery. Leave Christina alone.

    February 7, 2011 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
  4. cyndi

    Take this from someone who has sung this song to a crowd. It is hard to sing and I'll even admit that as I was singing, the words started feeling like they were escaping me, once I realized what I was really doing. Singing that song for your country isn't just about singing the notes (which I'm in agreement doesn't need 5 notes to every syllable) but it's about the words and what they mean. That being said once I got afriad I would mess it up, I just went with it bc I've sung the song since before kindergarten and I didn't mess up so I can see both sides of the coin here. She may have experience but even then you can still be nervous. So I'm not sure if I can excuse her either way. PRACTICE DOES MAKE PERFECT (most of the time).

    February 7, 2011 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
    • terdbaby

      You sound a little more confused than my wife. Ya may need a zanex.

      February 7, 2011 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
  5. W.G.

    I wish her and every other wannabe star would just SING THE NATIONAL ANTHEM without having to put their
    own soulful spin on it !!! It´s not a rap song , you won´t be remembered for singing it unless like this idiot you mess it up .
    Just sing it without all the "Soulful Howling" and then go enjoy the game

    February 7, 2011 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
  6. Wade N Eastman Ga.

    must have been the Gin Ricky's,Or maybe she just felt like being in the spotlight for a while to give my buddy's Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan a frigging break,God knows they could both use a break from all the negative press they both been getting.You go Crissy.I think you did a hell of a job baby,Just looking at you was good enough for me sweetheart. Oh and Hurry up and get well Charlie Sheen.You DA MAN!!! And Don't worry Lindsay sweetheart all this negativity that has been thrown your way is just a ploy to try and hurt your career,but you can't help it when you got it,And BABY YOU GOT IT!!!!LOVE YA LINDSAY>>>

    February 7, 2011 at 9:04 am | Report abuse |
  7. astroglide

    Yet another sign of the hedonist and warped times that prevail!

    February 7, 2011 at 9:04 am | Report abuse |
  8. jenn

    She probably got picked to sing because she's from Wexford-right outside of the "burgh." I'm emabarASSed to say I'm from the same place! She really set the tone for Pitt!

    February 7, 2011 at 9:04 am | Report abuse |
  9. Rhodie183

    I'd still bang her.

    February 7, 2011 at 9:05 am | Report abuse |
  10. JoeJoe9

    What a joke nearly half the people on here are ... 49% thought this was a major blunder...? ROFLMAO It wasn't even a minor blunder ... who cares about the words, they suck anyway...they were poorly written and never meant for the average citizen to sing.

    February 7, 2011 at 9:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Carl S

      You're not from around here are you?

      February 7, 2011 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
  11. terdbaby


    February 7, 2011 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
  12. JoeSA

    Is it really that big of a deal. She messed up. Let's crucify her. The problem is us as American's have to ridicule everything we see on tv any more. Yes, she should have made sure she knew the words and sang it correctly. But did it really hurt anyone? Come on. There is a lot of worse things that could have happen and people are acting like she threw the American flag on the ground and spit on it.

    February 7, 2011 at 9:07 am | Report abuse |
  13. Jim

    Why not play a recording of Jimi Hendrix's instrumental Woodstock performance of the "Star-Spangled Banner" at all major sporting events? Jimi's version is stunningly beautiful and comes directly from his heart. Go with an American legend (and U.S. Army veteran) instead of these two-bit clowns posing as "entertainers" who are singing it these days.

    February 7, 2011 at 9:07 am | Report abuse |
  14. Jack

    Would it be asking too much to just sing the song the way it was meant to be sung instead of taking "artistic license"?

    February 7, 2011 at 9:07 am | Report abuse |
  15. Mark

    What is wrong with singing the song with dignity and respect? Celebrities seem to forget that their signing of the National Anthem is a solemn honor and a time for remeberance and patriotism not a concert. If they refuse to sing it as it should be, then don't allow them to do it. And to forget the words? I'd much rather listen to an unknown sign the anthem properly than some celebrity butcher it with all of the whalin and whoolin. Especially when they have a beautiful voice and if the chose to, do the song justice. I'd rather not even hear it than to hear it like people sign it today. While it is a difficult song to sing, it is done week end and week out all across this nation with dignity and respect, so I just don't get why at national events it is always butchered?

    February 7, 2011 at 9:07 am | Report abuse |
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