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. BJC

    Where was Josh Groban when you needed him ?

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

    The National Anthem is something you DO NOT mess with. You might as well rearrange the stars and stripes on the flag and say it is 'artistic expression'. You leave it alone and respect it as it is!

    February 7, 2011 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
  3. Simon Cowell

    She's not going through to Hollywood.

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

      Good one Mr.Simon....:)

      February 7, 2011 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
  4. Amanda10

    haahaa she made a mistake thatss cool buhh it crakked me up haaahaa LMFAO

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

    I have a dumb question: why didn't she have a teleprompter? I'm not a fan of Ms. Aguilera or anything, but I think that she should have at the very least had cue cards or something. I know the words to our National Anthem – I was the soloist at my high school and college basketball games – but it can be tricky because it IS poetry language and sometimes hard to remember, especially if you're nervous or something. I always had an index card, just in case.

    February 7, 2011 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
  6. Mike

    Yet another example of why English should be the "official" language of the United States. Oh, and education should be made a priority!

    February 7, 2011 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
  7. Glee fan

    Lea Michele should have sung everything. The half time show was sung badly too.

    February 7, 2011 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
  8. ohshuddup

    Neither Whitney nor stevie nor ray or any other singer has privilege of ownership of this song, and none should think they have the right to make it different than the original. And obama sux. The NASCAR patrolman was the truest and most flattering rendition i remember, and he didnt have to adjust it to his style.

    February 7, 2011 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
  9. James Steward

    I thought she did a wonderful job. Give this beautiful White Latina a break. Anybody can make a mistake. Again she was great!!

    February 7, 2011 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Jim


      February 7, 2011 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
  10. ichi

    Maybe if she spent less time WoooOOOOAAaaoooOOHHHhing the anthem, she would remember to actually sing it correctly. She would be a perfectly good singer if she wasn't such a vocal acrobat

    February 7, 2011 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
  11. Mike

    We should send her to mexico after that singing. She sang so bad george bush could of done it better

    February 7, 2011 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
  12. J R Brown

    It's entirely obvious that she got so caught so caught up in her "performance" of singing the song that she forgot the song itself....the "moment" she got caught up in was her own ego.

    One would like to think a 5 time grammy winner would be more "professional" and less "diva" when the occasion calls for it....

    February 7, 2011 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      I agree!

      February 7, 2011 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Gabe

      Shocking that someone with no talent, no discipline, and someone who is really vying for America's #1 hussy can't sing.

      February 7, 2011 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Jean


      February 7, 2011 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
    • hb

      how incredibly presumptuous of you to say such a thing! For one, most Americans do not even know the National Anthem, and very few have had to stand before MILLLIONS and deliver it! Take it from a singer who has sung the National Anthem MANY times, it is easy to get lost in the moment. The true test is not that she flubbed a line but that she kept going and she finished strong!

      before you judge someone in such a way you should ask would I have done in that situation, and even though she is a professional singer she is still HUMAN! HUMANS MAKE MISTAKES ALL THE TIME!

      February 7, 2011 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
    • sickened by you

      Forgive me, but isn't she human, JUST LIKE YOU AND EVERYONE ELSE ON HERE WHO IS ACTING LIKE THEY PERFECT? People make mistakes, get over it!!!!!!!!!!!

      February 7, 2011 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
    • typical blonde

      'nough said!

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

      It happens to the best of performers. Life goes on.

      February 7, 2011 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Ben

      My problem with her redition of our national song is twofold.

      First of course she forgot the words. That is bad but forgiveable. It can happen to any performer. What is worse was her delivery in general. Just sing the song as it is written and forget all the vocal gymnastics. Not only was her version terrible, it was illegal. Believe it or not there is a law on the books that forbides the singing of the anthem in any way other than how it was written. It's high time that law was enforced.

      I'd rather see a local highschool kid sing it straight up than one of these divas who butcher then song.

      February 7, 2011 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Damian

      Christina can sing, big deal she screwed up one line. At least the line was from the song, it's not she did anything intentionally disrespectful. People need to calm down and focus on more important thigs.

      February 7, 2011 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      I can't believe this is on the front page! THERE IS ALOT GOING ON IN THIS WORLD BUT THIS IS ON THE FRONT PAGE!?!?!?!!? i think she did great, every body makes some mistakes! GUESS WHAT!?!?! Its not all that EASY to sing in front of the WHOLE WORLD! You did great!

      February 7, 2011 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      just sing the song the way it is supposed to be sung. No extra long notes and no putting it in your own style. JUST SING THE SONG.

      February 7, 2011 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
    • aa

      to hb; how can you say that half of americans don't know the national anthem? even so, half of americans aren't being paid to sing it. say what you must about nerves, but if she can stand in front of a huge audience and sing one of her 5 "grammy worthy" songs.. notice the quotation marks, then i sure as hell hope she can sing out National Anthem. that was her job.. just poor artistry at it finest.

      February 7, 2011 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
    • yankeedoodle

      after this, i think we should just have someone and not someone recognizable and/or just a military band "lead" the song but we ALL sing OUR national anthem TOGETHER–it would mean so much more!

      February 7, 2011 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
    • jaime

      Wow! she did a great job!!! She's such a good singer...if it wasn't because of the news you people would have not even noticed.

      February 7, 2011 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
    • ohsnap

      Not only she messed up the words but they chose a picture that makes her look like the nazi solute.

      February 7, 2011 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
    • ohsnap

      Nice Nazi Solute goes with you messing up the anthem.

      February 7, 2011 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Ricke49

      Agree. Perhaps her new song should be " O say can I think ?"

      February 7, 2011 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Carli E

      Can everyone recongize Christina Aguilar is human and can make a mistake! Christina is a fabulous singer/performer and .....can we all calm down?

      February 7, 2011 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
    • adam peyton

      I thought it was rediculous how she fumbled through the national anthem...pun intended.

      February 7, 2011 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Ratz

      What was that anyway? Did someone instruct her to sing every possible note in every segment of every word? Puke-pie topped with poop ice cream. The forgetting was the best thing about the performance. And come on, 'hb', if that is your real name. Don't you believe your reply is really the pretentious comment out here? ... "Er. well, um, I be, oh I mean, Me am a professional singer' I think I have ALL your downloads from iTunes and my favorite is that spot on Theme song from Barney and Friends. Was it supposed to make your reply more accurate; because it didn't.

      Tell you what, you give me back the $6.50 I wasted on seeing Burlesque and then we can talk. THAT was a train wreck. I knew it would be, which is one of the reasons I went, but I never, ever expected that it could be unequaled in it's putrid stink, but it was that bad. Now back to the Super Bowl – where was I? Oh, right... Puke-pie with poop ice cream.

      February 7, 2011 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Guest

      No, she is not just like anyone else, i.e. she is not like us. If she was, then anyone could go there. She was chosen because of her presumed talent. Not any Tom, Dick and Harry can go there and sing, only professionals do and we expect professionalism from professionals.

      February 7, 2011 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
  13. keith

    Geeez I'm tired of hearing how the guy that sings at the Chicago Bears games should be the one that sings the national anthem. No, the solution is that when you have an American sing the song, THAT american needs to know the words to the song. She says she 'lost her place' is not a valid excuse. She has been on stage numerous times in her concerts, yet she thinks this performance is any different? She is supposedly an American yet cannot get the words right to the anthem of her own country. Geez, she needs to be kicked out of the US, along with all those people who can't be bothered to put their hand over their heart when the anthem is sung. I see this during NASCAR races, football games, basketball games, etc...the list goes on. Why can't people who claim they are real americans be bothered to put their hand over their heart like we were all raised to do.....if you can't put your hand over your heart during the singing of the national anthem, then don't be bothered to call yourself an American

    February 7, 2011 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Lydia

      we were raised to do that during the pledge.

      February 7, 2011 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      Keith: According to the US Flag Code, non-uniformed civilians are to put their hand over their heart during the Pledge of Allegiance, only...not during the Star Spangled Banner. Only uniformed members are to render a hand salute during the anthem.

      February 7, 2011 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Lewis

      It was terrible! From the moment she begun her narcissistic whah wah, yah yah crap all infused into the anthem I realized it was awful. I cringed on the couch. I could hardly get through it. Can't the organizers of the Superbowl make sure that the anthem is sung without all this crap, with seriousness, with honor, no rapp crap, no ghetto crap, no American Idol crap – just sincere beautiful singing?

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

      Pledge of Allegiance is hand ove heart not the National Anthem. We were taught to take your hat off or salute if you are in the military.

      February 7, 2011 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
    • typical blonde

      So, how does putting your hand over your heart work with amputees and handicapped singers? Tell me! 🙂

      February 7, 2011 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
    • itsnottheendoftheworld

      she's only human.

      February 7, 2011 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
    • TB

      Man you people are brutal! I'm not even a fan of hers but heck I am aware of the fact that she is human and can make a mistake! I don't care that she is a professional–SHE MADE A MISTAKE! Unless you are perfect and have NEVER made a mistake in your life than you have no right to say anything about it!!!!! And like her or not if you can't recognize the amazing voice she has then you are tone deaf!

      February 7, 2011 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Damian

      This is so not a big deal. She screwed up one line , it wasn't like she was being intentionally disrespectful. People need to put things in perspective. Gee I'd hate to see how you act in a real crisis.

      February 7, 2011 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
    • TruePatriotToday

      @Keith. You are not supposed to put your hand over your heart during the National Anthem. Here's two reasons why this is obvious.

      1. Before starting the Anthem a PA request goes to "Please remove your hats", they don't say "Please remove your hats and place your had over your heart", EVER.

      2. Look at the military that are standing close by, they are standing at attention, NOT with their hands over their hearts. Consider this when you say "Real Americans place their hands over their hearts during the anthem", because you just called every US Military person un-american.

      Last comment. She's sang the anthem multiple times, performed it perfectly. She screwed up once, get over it.

      February 7, 2011 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Ochubbs


      No one is saying she doesn't have a great voice. She messed up because she was so caught up in herself making the song take an hour and a half plus stressing ever word in the song making it very hard to listen. She didn't butcher the lyrics that bad, I think more people are mad at how bad she butchered the song.

      February 7, 2011 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Kim

      I am so not surprised that you watch NASCAR. "If'n you don't put yer hand on yer heart, GIT OUT! derpa derp!"

      February 7, 2011 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Dana

      It is not proper to put your hand over your heart for the National Anthem. In this country, the proper formal action for a citizen during the National Anthem is to stand erect, with your arms at your side. Next time educate yourself before you shoot your ignorant mouth. For you that probably means you should just shut up in public.

      February 7, 2011 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Dana

      I think the people who should leave this country are the ones who think they are better Americans than others, when they actually don't know their toes from their fingers. You self-righteous ignorance is a plague on this nation that is bringing it to its knees.

      February 7, 2011 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
  14. ken

    Look, she made a mistake, many people do it, it was a lousy performance anyway...let it go...its not worth the cyber ink...

    February 7, 2011 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Throb

      I was not impressed by the song in general, but I personally dont know the words... So, that says a whole lot... I also could not have stood up there in front of the world, which you know that is who all was watching, and sing that song or any other song.. She's human... Give her a break...

      February 7, 2011 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  15. A Proud American

    English as the official language, and edcuation being made a priority.... The singing of the National Anthem of the United States points to these problems.

    February 7, 2011 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
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