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. Emc2

    What a lame excuse. I thought she was a professional But, she is blonde.

    February 7, 2011 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
  2. Steph

    She did a great job recovering & moving on..give her a break

    February 7, 2011 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
  3. Charlotte

    Perhaps if she had payed more attention to learning they lyrics vs. trying to sound ethnic, she may of been able to pull it off, however, the performance was an embarrassment and she should never be asked to sing anything patriotic again.

    February 7, 2011 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
  4. bellejournee

    If she didn't try to make the song so pop-y, then she might have remembered the words.

    February 7, 2011 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
  5. icedawg

    The whole Super Bowl thing has become a pseudo religious event. Face it, it is all about idolizing self, particularly athletes and a nation. It is one thing to celebrate success and achievements, it is another thing to obsess about it and elevate it to the level of absurdity. This rendition of the national anthem was a fitting epithet for a generation that overindulges in self-worship. Shame on you.

    February 7, 2011 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
  6. Carl S

    On one hand you have the older singers sing at the superbowl, you know, the ones that have paid their dues, worked hard and spent years on the road before getting one single hit. And the younger generation complains that they are too old, NFL needs to upgrade. Yet the older singers didn't screw up the national anthem. Now the NFL listens to the younger paople and have newer singers and from different Genre, more today's kids, and the singer can't even remember the words to the national antem and the Half-time shows sucks so bad, I bet most the older folks and probably a lot of the newer folks turned it off or muted it. There you have it, NFL tried upgrading and it got screwed up... go figure!

    February 7, 2011 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
  7. Derek

    Whitney Houston's voice is all cracked out now she can't do it anymore.

    February 7, 2011 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
  8. Fran

    Arrest CA for murder! She killed the National Anthem! I'd like to see a military band play it and the entire crowd sing it instead of being subjected to the horrendous versions perpetrated by many "entertainers". Even if she had sung the right words, this "interpretation" was embarrassingly bad. Watching the troops in Afghanistan listen to this disaster made me really angry!!!

    February 7, 2011 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
  9. Agricola

    The probem with some of these singers is that they're too concerned with turning the national anthem into "their" versions. The anthem should be sung straight, solemnly, and true, with none of the ridiculous R&B warbling. Whichever individual or committee chooses the singer for the Super Bowl should hold auditions and have the chosen party sign an agreement that the anthem will be sung in the traditonal way without personal "interpretation". Carrie Underwood performed it perfectly last year. There's no reason others can't do the same.
    By the way, the Black Guy Peas were absolutely incomprehensible. The Super Bowl needs to knock it off with the trendy garbage and present real musicians rather than these "artists" that just jump around and shout. Fergie looks great and has potential as a real singer if she would only move on from the bilge she's doing now.

    February 7, 2011 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
  10. arog12

    ur a terrorist!!!!!

    February 7, 2011 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
  11. rev_cletus

    Here's a perfect solution, for all you good peeps who git yer knickers in a wad every time someone sings that tired old ditty (based on an older English *drinking* song, to catch you up on yer own hist'ry) in a manner the doesn't suit you: don't have a singer at all – just play an old Marine Band recording of it (from a scatchy old LP) and let all the patriotical types wastin' time on the spectacle *sing it themselves*. I'm *sure* it'll sound a lot better

    February 7, 2011 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
  12. JOSEPH


    February 7, 2011 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
  13. Dawn

    Spoken by former NBA star Allen Iverson, PRACTICE! It's all about PRACTICE!

    February 7, 2011 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
  14. Ms J

    This is why almost every other singer in modern memory has pre-recorded the national anthem.

    February 7, 2011 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |

    so she messed up big deal! its not a sin. so what shes a grammy winner? so what that shes been in the business. it couldve happen to the song writer just as well. americans please there are so many more important things that have been messed up than this stupid song

    February 7, 2011 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
    • lolasmama

      You just don't get it...I guess you are the stupid one.

      February 7, 2011 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Adam

      Well, other then the fact that it was her job? It's not your Anthem or sporting event so shut the hell up.

      February 7, 2011 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
    • bruce

      If you have so little sense or pride than to call our National Song stupid then maybe you should consider residing in another country. The ramparts sang about in that song were the shells being lobbed into Fort McHenry by the British warships. So brave citizens withstood this bombardment and raised the American flag the next morning as a symbol of no surrender. That's not stupid, that's heroic. That's AMERICA.

      February 7, 2011 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Kellie


      February 7, 2011 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Fredlind Erkl

      Has anyone noticed that almost all of the flubs are on that same line? That's because nobody even knows what a rampart is, or why we need to go o'er one or why they would gallantly stream. It's outdated, and it needs to be re-written to make some sense to us today, otherwise we all look like idiots. She just did us a favor by calling attention to that fact.

      February 7, 2011 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
    • justme

      How dare you say that the song needs to be changed to suit the times! If you or anyone else does not know what a rampart is or means, look it up, ask someone or find out! Every one of the words of the Anthem meant something then and it should mean something now. LEARN IT!!! Everyone learn it!! What has happened to patrionism? Do you know what that word means??? I do not believe in all the wars that America has been envolved in but I support and respect our troops for fighting them. Respect – look up the word and learn how to use it!

      February 7, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Get It Right

      If it's a stupid song maybe you need to be living in another country.

      February 7, 2011 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
    • WoToF

      If you think that the national anthem is a stupid song then maybe you should go to a different country and stay there! I understand that people make mistakes but what you're saying is completely disrespectful to this nation. Be thankful that you live in a country that is willing to tolerate your lack of respect for your home. Because if you had said that in another country you'd probably go to prison!

      February 7, 2011 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Alicia

      She was paid to perform the National Anthem in front of thousands of fans and millions of people watching on TV. It isn't wrong to expect her to perform it 100% accurately.

      February 7, 2011 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Paulie

      She was paid hundreds of thousands of dollars and didnt do her job correctly. You must be a liberal if you think thats ok.

      February 7, 2011 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
    • BGN


      February 7, 2011 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
    • lolasmama

      Fredlind Erkl....maybe you should try and be a little more intelligent. If you don't know the meaning of a word LOOK IT UP.

      February 7, 2011 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
    • mhamilton

      It sure sounds like Madonna's saliva migh have permenantly messed her brain up.

      February 7, 2011 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Amy

      I CARE! THAT'S WHO CARES – AMERICANS CARE!!! If she would have sung it the way it's supposed to be sung she might not of messed it up. Christina is so dramatic when she sings – you can't understand what she is singing. That isn't singing!! Just a bad choice of performer. Bring on the ones that can sing it – Faith Hill, Martina McBride, etc.

      February 7, 2011 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
    • SnoozeULose

      There are certain events and moments where the lack of attention to detail is a sign of disrespect. If you don't think an act such as this can bring down a career ask Rosanne Barr. Perhaps she should have spent more time preparing and less time primping and pimping....

      February 7, 2011 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
    • bob jones

      its not a stupid song if u don't know it u cant just say i got lost in the moment? so say u messed it up what would ur excuse be? and maybe she gave the stupid excuse so it wouldn't ruin her repitation... they always say that.. so don't go dissing our national anthem like its a piece of trash

      February 7, 2011 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
    • thepope

      If you are not proud enough to sing our National Anthem, they should have gotten a profession that was not trying to have her moment in front of the nation. I am embarrassed and was while she was singing. Please can't anyone sing it the right way without adding all the extra unnessary noise to the most imortant song of our free nation. Leave her at home, no I do not feel sorry for her, she shoud have come out with the right words and also did not need to wave to the crowd.

      February 7, 2011 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Neuro

      I think, what a lot of people whom have never sung this at an outdoor pro-sports event, it that the DURATION of the song is not controlled by the singer. He/she receives signals from a conductor so lengthen/shorten notes, in order to synch with the arrival of the naval/air force fly-by. That being said, missing the lines themselves is pretty bad.

      February 7, 2011 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Deb

      It is a very complicated song ....

      February 7, 2011 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Concerned American

      Stupid song????? Your name "who cares" says it all. You sound very young, immature, live with mom and dad and probably don't even know the words to our GREAT National Anthem. Maybe Christina shouldn't be tramping around while she's going through her divorce and act like a mother to her child. Her reputation is really suffering and her bleach hair needs to go. I love her voice.

      February 7, 2011 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
    • brent

      she's so hot who cares, i didn't even notice, what is more shameful for americans is there is not an american singer who has failed to butcher the Canadain anthem at any sporting event. No big deal.. i guess it woul.d have been bad taste for Christine to whip a few pieces off al a burlesque, And the Black Eyed Peas, love them, but the sound was a disaster, a tip for the sound person, if Fergie's lips are moving, she is probably singing and the mike should be ON. Not rocket science.

      February 7, 2011 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
    • AA

      she's hott? she looks like a train wreck..

      February 7, 2011 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
    • iamacamera

      She's hot? At what? Any American whose asked to sing the Canadian National Anthem would be well served to learn the words and pay attention, not slide all over the scale "souling" it up. And she's a U.S. citizen, either by choice or birth, not Canadian so your analogy is very flawed. That was a stupid move (on her part) and a national disgrace.

      February 7, 2011 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Kells

      @Bruce, a rampart isn't a shell.. it's the surrounding wall of a fort, where defenders can walk around and/or defend their stronghold.
      @everyone else, just because someone makes a mistake doesn't make them unAmerican for goodness sakes! Has no one here not ever misspoken!? Geez, at least most of us don't do it in front of millions of people. Give her a break.

      February 7, 2011 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      agree.. at least we know was she was actually singing and not faking it..

      February 7, 2011 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
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