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. ro


    February 7, 2011 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  2. Larry

    it's amazing how many imperfect people like to get on here and call out anothers imperfections by calling out everyone elses imperfections!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Opppssss, I forgot to capitalize my "I" at the beginning, you imperfect idiots want to call it out? Some idiots say it's her job, those posters I will gaurantee my life on the fact that they have not performed their job w/o imperfections!! Oh, spelled guarantee wrong.....

    February 7, 2011 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
  3. thisisnot

    This is why almost in every other country of the world the play a record and the crowd sing following that record. beside that in the name of freedom USA have given the right to every citizen to sing it at their own way, so you got what you deserve

    February 7, 2011 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
  4. Jim

    she should have showed off her pierced ta-ta's while she was at it. what a total, no-class bimbo.

    February 7, 2011 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Jerry

      OMG another Janet Jackson?

      February 7, 2011 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
  5. Bedubya

    the lyric miscue aside, her singing was atrocious. i thought the Black Eyed Peas weren't much better. for a game that is on too late for most kids to watch you have to wonder why the entertainment is comprised of acts that cater to 14 years olds

    February 7, 2011 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
  6. srichey

    Figures. They get someone with actual talent to sing the anthem and she flubs the lines.

    February 7, 2011 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
  7. Over rated Anthem

    Who cares!!! The average American probably can't remember the first line, themselves! Ohhh, we're sooo patriotic at a sporting event.......but what about any other time?!? Our Democracy is in the crapper right now, thanks to the Banker man,and the Hacks running government, so don't all you people get your panties in a knot!

    February 7, 2011 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Suz

      Angry, angry. But you're right, the average American probably doesn't know all the words to the National Anthem. When I taught music in the public schools, I always taught my fourth graders a unit on patriotic songs because I think it's important for people to know them. I don't teach anymore, but I still think it's important. It's a matter of national heritage.

      February 7, 2011 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
  8. rev_cletus

    Man – this is better than watchin' any idiotic gladiatorial people are a freekin' HOOT! Thanks for all the laughs...

    February 7, 2011 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
  9. Sas

    Who cares? Everyone knows the words, right? And I'm sure she does too, it was a mistake. Last I checked she was human. For all of you who took offense, I wonder how you would do singing one of the most difficult national anthems to sing, in front of millions of people. I doubt you could do better. And remember, it's what's in your heart that counts, not the mouthing of words. Someone could hum the national anthem and be filled with the same amount of pride as anyone else.

    February 7, 2011 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Jim


      February 7, 2011 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
  10. Veganlove

    Performers make mistakes at times, period. Ella Fitzgerald forgot the words to a song and started singing sounds quickly became known as Scatting. To compare a small flub of the national anthem with not being patriotic is absurd.
    Barbara Striesand forgot the words to a well known song and didn't perform live for years, due to the anxiety it created.
    Those who can do, those who can't post shady blog comments, or vote on American idol.

    February 7, 2011 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
  11. Mossman

    As a Canadian I have been able to sing the US anthem since I was 10 (ahhh good ole hockey games). It isn't that hard to remember it. Aguilera was to busy warbling, trilling and looking dramatic to know what the heck to sing. Anthems should be operatic, and pop stars warbling their way through them makes me cringe. I remember during Rendezvous '87 (NHL all star from 1987) they had a Canadian, American and Russian to sing their prospective anthems. The American had to sing off cue cards. But hey, it isn't as bad as Roseanne Barr or Carl Lewis. And yes the constable in Ottawa belts out a good anthem. So does the singer for the Montreal Canadiens games.

    February 7, 2011 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
  12. Bill

    If she had sung the song as written and not like she was in heat with orgasmic gyrations she may have gotton it right

    February 7, 2011 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
  13. Ken

    Everyone makes an occasional mistake. I wasn't so much disturbed that she flubbed the words, but that she was doing that warbling, "artistic impression", crap on top of the National Anthem that has become the trademark of singing it at a big event like this. Just drop all the frigging pretense, and SING THE SONG in a lively, and uplifting manner. If you need a demonstration, give me a call. I'm not a "professional", but I guarantee I'll do a better job of it than what I heard last night.

    Jimi Hendrix is the only person who has ever "interpreted" the National Anthem in a moving way, and that was in a concert setting. TOTALLY different context. Save the "impressions" for that venue, if it has to be done at all.

    February 7, 2011 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
  14. GeezChristinaPracticeALittleBit

    She sang at the twilight's last reaming. Lazy slag didn't practice the song.

    February 7, 2011 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
  15. chuch d

    Yea, lets have a do over and get someone else in there to sing it
    1 knows the words and
    2 that can sing it like it was written and
    not put your own spin to it .
    Yes Christina we know you can sing, Yes I love your voice
    but boy you did a crappy job on that

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