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. Andrew

    Screw up or no screw up, that was the worst version I have ever heard.....and their have been bad ones.Why couldn't she just sing it instead of trying to add in whatever that singing was.BLEEEEECHHHHH!!!

    February 6, 2011 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
  2. John

    New Rules for the Singing of the National Anthem at sporting events

    1) Keep it to a 2-minute maximum

    2) No "blues"ing it's a national anthem, not a pop tune. Seriously, I think we might be the only nation in the world that tolerates that crap. This applies to all vocal runs and country-fied scooped notes.

    3) If you can't sing in tune without the aid of autotune or doing the "I'm-putting-my-finger-in-one-ear-while-scrunching-up-my-face" thing, then you are disqualified.

    4) Don't dress like you're going to the club (see rule #2)

    5) If the summation of your public solo singing experience has been in either of the following, you are ineligible:

    A) The shower
    B) The car
    C) Karaoke
    D) Singing "special music" to a "Jesak" soundtrack at your Sunday morning church service

    6) Sing "America the Beautiful" instead. I bet if we could get a mulligan on picking a national anthem, that song would make a better one.

    7) You're not allowed to change keys every phrase (see rule #3)

    8) Seriously? You don't know the words?

    9) This is one time when the focus should be on all things patriotic, not the diva (or divo) singer.

    And finally....

    10) Who needs a singer? Just let the band do it.

    February 6, 2011 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • April

      I second this motion! The ayes have it! Motion carried LOL

      February 6, 2011 at 10:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • sf

      why should the superbowl be 'of all times' to be patriotic? its people smashing into eachother for no reason, followed by dorito's commercials. i fail to see the part where i am supposed to be proud.
      did anyone save anybody else? oh, no, just a bunch of people got fatter.

      February 6, 2011 at 10:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • CJ179

      I don't think she was dressed for a club... A funeral maybe, with the black dress and black nail polish. That stuck out. For those that didn't care she messed up, all that means is you also don't know the words. It's a symbol that shouldn't be open to artistic interpretation. She clearly didn't take the time to learn it. She's been on 100's of large stages and been flawless. Is that because she made a profit on those stages??? No money in singing the national anthem, just notoriety and TV time.

      February 6, 2011 at 10:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Former Liberal Now Republican

      I wouldn't mind singing with Christina in the shower.

      February 8, 2011 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Hunter Howard

    For all of you guys saying Christina Aguilera isn't American, she was born and raised in New York, which is, contrary to some's beliefs, America! LOL

    February 6, 2011 at 10:23 pm | Report abuse |
  4. tshep_dog

    no big deal...didn't even notice the first time I watched it. Very good singer.

    February 6, 2011 at 10:23 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Rod Venger

    Who hired her? The same moron that hired Roseanne Barr?

    The National Anthem is not art. It doesn't need anyone's 'artistic interpretation'. Just sing it, best you can, and remember why the words were written in the first place. Anything just your own ego. If you cared less about that and more about the song, you would have known the words.

    February 6, 2011 at 10:23 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Michael Jones

    Staten Island is worse than anywhere else. This should have been an immediate disqualification.

    February 6, 2011 at 10:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hunter Howard


      February 6, 2011 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Databänkt

    I think she knew about as many words as the average american does. So cutting that out I think it was vocally good.
    Lige is good in general.
    Cheers !
    (A Swede in OHIO)

    February 6, 2011 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Databänkt

      I meant,"Life is good in general".
      The Swede

      February 6, 2011 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Really???

      You must need a hearing screening. I have perfect pitch. The sour notes grated like nails on a chalkboard. Her vocals went flat several times. Plus missing a sentence when there are only 8 of them is hardly professional.

      February 7, 2011 at 12:16 am | Report abuse |
  8. Gene

    Who cares, she's gorgeous, she looked great and the producers should have provided some kind of teleprompting in any case.

    February 6, 2011 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • James Steward

      Totally agree with you. She did a wonderful job even with that small mistake. Most folks here cant sing that song past the 2nd line.
      She is a beautiful slim white Latina girl and has strong pipes. Get Britney next time and you all will see how weak and bad it will be.

      THey are treating her here as if she invaded Iraq and had over 1 million innocent Iraqi killed. Pretty ironic while Bush and Cheney are running free and cashing out. We got great priorities in this nation.

      February 7, 2011 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
  9. Rosemary

    Wow! Such bitterness in the world; but what gets me more, most of the folks commenting here can't spell. What happened to having pride. Our flag represents all that America has been, is, and will be. Sing with pride!

    February 6, 2011 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
  10. jayjay

    At least it wasn't Carl Lewis,,, "Uh Oh....."

    February 6, 2011 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
  11. vikingslost

    Big star, big star and a mere flub. She did good. And she is American. Only reason some of you are trying to trash her is because of her name. Get over it and move on.

    The Green Bay Packers are the Super Bowl Champions if some of you haven't noticed.

    February 6, 2011 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Really???

      She looks like she has been ridden hard and put away wet. The voice suffers when you abuse yourself. She was hitting sour flat notes as well as leaving out a sentence in a fairly short song. I don't think she is going to be a diva much longer. The Packers were no real surprise. They are one tough team.

      February 7, 2011 at 12:26 am | Report abuse |
  12. MT

    Anyone of the haters here ever make a mistake? Try having 150 million views staring at you..waiting for you to FU and see how well you do. Also, lmk when you get a call to sing the National Anthem in the super bowl. Quite an honor. I'm sure she's devastated. Lighten up!

    February 6, 2011 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thomas in Vancouver

      For you or me, having 150 million people watching you would be unnerving. For her, it's an above-average Sunday performance. She's played to so many stadiums filled to capacity that it's totally normal to her.

      February 6, 2011 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
  13. denise

    This is how it is suppose to be sung!

    February 6, 2011 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Joe Michaels

    Where's Jose Feliciano when you need him??

    February 6, 2011 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • El Jefe

      Feliz Navidad! Feliz Navidad! I wanna wissssshhhhhh U a merry Christmas, U knoww wat I meeeeeen, ese?

      February 8, 2011 at 10:02 pm | Report abuse |
  15. KittySims

    Oh give the woman a break.. In front of millions we cant imagine the pressure and her nerves... Humans make mistakes.. people are so cruel and petty

    February 6, 2011 at 10:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Really???

      A junior girl scout could have done it better, and would have remembered all the words.

      February 7, 2011 at 12:29 am | Report abuse |
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