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. Mike

    That bleached chick and the halftime nightmare from 5th Element are to music as a cold dead fish is to Rodin.

    February 7, 2011 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
  2. C-Tex

    NO BIG DEAL !!! She can still sing much better than the low IQ folks who but up these negative comments. Most of these mouth runners have an IQ less than their shoe size.

    February 7, 2011 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
  3. WildSpark

    If you don't like the National Anthem then clearly you are a leftist commie socialist pig that hates everything American including apple pie, baseball, and Tom Hanks. You need to leave the country immediately, because here in America we do not allow people to have differing opinions, especially with something as important as a paleo-patriotic self-aggrandizing song.

    February 7, 2011 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
  4. J

    Just goes to show that mediocrity is the national anthem now. What happened to wanting to get it exactly right? Pride in the performance? Singing for countrymen and not for the glorification of yourself? Where's the pride in singing for others?

    February 7, 2011 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
  5. Agie

    Should we expect anything better from the tramp?

    February 7, 2011 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
    • spirit

      How right you are Agie

      February 7, 2011 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
  6. spirit

    Disgraceful all the way she better give up singing and go back to acting

    February 7, 2011 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
  7. J0nx

    Wow, Cyndi Lauper has never looked better. It's like she is timeless.

    February 7, 2011 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
    • jerry

      bet she knows the words to the Mexican anthem

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

      and on "this note": since it is OUR national anthem, why can't someone "lead" it but we ALL sing together?...would mean so much more! 🙂

      February 7, 2011 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
    • kammie

      J0nx....thanks for the laugh! Perfect comment!

      February 7, 2011 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
    • OnionName

      Stolen from the onion

      February 7, 2011 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
    • A Patriot

      I watched and was ashamed for the entire USA! Her "rendition" was neither artsy nor crafty. In my opinion adding her "pop" spin and being caught up in the moment are indications that she thinks our Anthem is a trinket rather than an icon. It should be treated with considerably more respect than it received last night!

      February 7, 2011 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      It's a sad testimonial to her mental ability to not be able to remember our national anthem, only in America. The half time show was really lousy. I realize I'm an old fart, but 13% of the population is Black and I wish the majority % can get representation. I grew up in Bed-Stuy, and I'm certainly not a racist. When Janet Jackson had the 'wardrobe malfunction', I was watching and missed it. the next day all the bible thumpers where I worked, were so appalled. After I was laid off by the lame righters, I at least had the time to replay it online. Big deal! Also, why do both this playoff teams haven't any cheerleaders? Especially being broadcast from Dallas, with some of the hottest babes.

      February 7, 2011 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
    • php5001

      ahahaha. love it! also, all that money and she still looks like she's got on a spray on tan?! i mean come on! great voice though can't argue with that.

      February 7, 2011 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      She has a beautiful, powerful voice, and I think it's catty of us to prod at the mistakes she made. I know no one attending the party I was at noticed. If any of you have ever performed in front of a large crowd (in this case MILLIONS) it's REALLY hard to keep it together.

      February 7, 2011 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Panther Kitty

      Even with the flubs, Christina ROCKED!!! My friends & I were moved to tears! She was so in the moment, and her love for our country really shown through. That's live singing for you...anything can happen. Goes to show, none of us are perfect!!! In spite of the flubs, I was totally moved!

      February 7, 2011 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Winona

      Ok. Christina messed up the National Anthem. Give the girl a break. I mean really. Do you know all the words to the National Anthem? Or do you still think that our national anthem is 'America the Beautiful'?

      February 7, 2011 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Mouse Fleabag

      On youtube you can see Jamie Kennedy doing a hilarious version of the national anthem before a baseball game, and he sang all five stanzas, and the crowd thought it was never going to end, as he kept singing the next stanza after the applause. I doubt if one in a million Americans actually know the entire song. It ended up being about five minutes.

      February 7, 2011 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Lee

      There is no excuse ... she had plenty of time to practice. They should have chosen someone else. I've heard much better renditions.

      February 7, 2011 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Jane

      I can't believe there are over 1000 comments on this story. I guess my comment is one extra ...anyway I wonder with the economy so bad and a violent revolution in Egypt why is the news talking about a flubbed line in the National Anthem and some people freaking out over not getting their seats at the superbowl. Get over it people. The national anthem was a poem written in the early 19th century so it is really hard to sing and to the people who lost their seats you are going to get 3 times your money back.

      February 7, 2011 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
  8. Chuck C.

    Christina, you did a great job. What a voice. Far better than the lame halftime show. Was more like Karaoke.

    February 7, 2011 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Jeremy

      You poor, disillusioned, tone deaf soul.

      February 7, 2011 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
    • MJ

      LOL! I chose to take my bath during halftime. Timed it perfectly. Missed the entire halftime show and got out just in time for the kickoff of the second half.

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

      Really? Her rendition was terrible. It's the National Anthem, not a pop song.

      I don't 'feel bad for her' because she flubbed the lines. If you're going to sing it at an event like this, practice practice practice.

      Who am I to criticize? Well, I've sung the National anthem at the Fleet Center in Boston, and at the Pawtucket Red Sox a bunch of times. Not millions of people, but tens of thousands, and it IS nervy, and therefore you DO have to practice.

      February 7, 2011 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike, TX

      Jeremy you're an idiot!! Tone Deaf??? Really???!!! I guess all the awards and albums she has sold has just been a flub too.... What have YOU done Jeremy????/ yeah...................that's what I thought.

      February 7, 2011 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Carol

      I bet you a nickle to a nail , that most Americans don't know the words to the National Anthem. I don't, but I do know all the words to I Drink Alone – by George Thorogood and I don't feel any less American.

      February 7, 2011 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Busted

      Hahaha, thank you Carol that was well said and very funny. Wheher you like Christina or not, it is a tough song to sing and an emotional song, it is easy to get lost in the words. I usually think of our troops and often times get tripped up in the words myself.

      February 7, 2011 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
    • William

      I have to agree. I have flubbed the national anthem a couple times myself. She obviously got caught up in the moment.

      February 7, 2011 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Panther Kitty

      Absolutely agree!!!

      February 7, 2011 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Al

      You're right she's got an amazing voice & is actually one of a handful of recording stars to actually deserve having a record deal. I'm not a sports fan but luckily the only part of the game I caught was her singing the national anthem.

      February 7, 2011 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Lee

      The best thing about halftime were all the lit-up dancers.

      February 7, 2011 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
  9. Mike Henry

    If these performers would only sing the song as it was intended to be sung and leave out their personal interepreations, they wouldn't get "LOST" in the's like singing Silent Night in the blues just doesn't work!!!!
    Do you remember the Roseanne Barr fiasco singing the Anthem...disgraceful !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 7, 2011 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Sharon Beals

      AGREE!!!!! 100%!

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

      Right there with you on that one.

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

      You got that right and get someone that knows the song.

      February 7, 2011 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Jo

      EXACTLY! Great point.

      February 7, 2011 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
    • ckesling

      @ mike henry, i do REMEMBER rose ann barr... what a disgrace to the anthem:(

      February 7, 2011 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Totally agree. This isn't YOUR moment. This is the COUNTRY'S moment. Let's remember that and sing it the way it was written.

      February 7, 2011 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
    • ScrewELouE

      She forgot that the National Anthem is about the nation.... not her!

      February 7, 2011 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
    • wittywife

      I agree completely.

      February 7, 2011 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Rick

      The actual interpretation is surely missed. The worst is when a singer will sing the anthem with a R&B rhythm.

      February 7, 2011 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      I agree, but who didn't see this coming? She's Christina Aquilera! She is infamous for over the top vocal flourishes and is annoyingly interprative with everything she sings that she didn't write.

      I didn't enjoy it, and I thought there would have been better people who could have done a better job with the national anthem, but come on guys, as soon as I heard it was her and saw her starting to sing it, I turned to my friend and said
      "get ready for a 10-minute national anthem of her doing nothing more then singing it christina aguilera style"

      February 7, 2011 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Lee

      And speaking of Roseann Barr, wasn't she the one in this year's Snickers ad ... couldn't they get anyone better?!

      February 7, 2011 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  10. Bob

    And look...they even had to show troops standing at attention. Even the troops have become a show thing. America only shows us the good side...standing at attention and being flash to millions of Americans. Being a soldier isn't all about fun and feeling important. Even during the Super Bowl they brain wash you to think, "hey, if I join the military, I'll be on camera too!" America's imirialism continues.

    February 7, 2011 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      You can just zip it BOB, your right America and i always will show her strength pal, you haters of American tradition are the ones that hurt this country the most, so go live in China or Cuba!!

      February 7, 2011 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
    • PCola Vet

      Bob, and 18 year Marine vet, I have to say at NO time during my duration as a soldier or ANY of the guys I served with were brainwashed into thinking 'hey we can be on tv too'. Where you get your intel from is beyond me? Those on tv are part of the Color Guard, and this is what they do, they present all branches of the militaries colors as well as Old Glory. Put the bottle down dude and stop making things up.

      February 7, 2011 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
    • kbob

      They should have showed pictures of some of the thousands of young men and women who have died in Iraq. And, on the other half of the big screen, showed George W. Bush's face in real time.

      February 7, 2011 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
    • ScrewELouE

      Hey Bob.... you sound a bit mentally challenged. Maybe THAT will get you on TV.

      February 7, 2011 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Keeeshawrn

      dont be mad at everyone because the military rejected you

      February 7, 2011 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  11. Run4DaHills

    At least it wasn't Roseanne Barr. I really wish whoever sings would just sing the anthem, as it was written. Sure, a few minor personal touches are acceptable but overdone vocal tricks and complete rewrites are not needed to sing the anthem with a sense of freshness and most importantly, with dignity. Honestly, the Superbowl producers should do an annual YouTube audition for unknowns to sing the anthem. No Celebrity needed, and a new star might rise from such an approach. As for live performance goofs, even football idols miss plays more so than they make the play of the season. Goofs and missed cues can happen in anything live. Certainly, technical glitches can make performing difficult and emotions can choke a performer. The real pros know to just keep going, take their lumps afterwards, and hopefully, prevent the same issue from arising again. Actually, I prefer a little imperfection in an otherwise, perfect performance. It keeps it real.

    February 7, 2011 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Mazama

      If a" few minor personal touches are acceptable" then it is not being sung as it was written.

      No changes are acceptable.

      February 7, 2011 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
  12. A

    I'm sure it's terrifying to sing in front of millions! Christina is an excellent singer and HUMAN! Let it go people.

    February 7, 2011 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
  13. oooh

    man she was not that bad...just stumbled on a few words. people are crying over spilled milk.

    February 7, 2011 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
  14. eric

    Musicians forget the lyrics to songs THEY WROTE and have sung thousands of times all the time. Get over it America

    February 7, 2011 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Sam

      Very few musicians write their own songs these days...

      February 7, 2011 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
    • eric

      umm...many of those musicians who wrote their own lyrics still tour and perform live. Those are the ones I was referring too..........idiot

      February 7, 2011 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
  15. Bill

    Everyone knows the words to this song, and she screwed up. Enough with the diva warbling, hand-gestures and moaning. These R&B moaners who can't sing and use auto-tune are always the ones who f-up, and drag it on forever. Disrespectful. Sing it and get the words right. What an idiot. It's the lefties who want the anthem out of classrooms that deserve the credit for this.

    February 7, 2011 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
    • ATMoore

      I didnt know the entire Democratic partty was at the Super Bowl singing the national anthem.

      February 7, 2011 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Are you serious right now???

      Give me a break. Christina makes a human error singing the National Anthem and you find someway to bring politics into this...and moreso, place the blame on the left??? Grow up!

      February 7, 2011 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
    • MikeMazzla

      yeah us lefties love it when people screw up the anthem because its such a big freaking deal. Dont you have some lame US flag shirt you should be wearing?

      February 7, 2011 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Real American

      Are you serious!!! get
      a grip. I bet you think President Obama had something to do with it. You tea baggers are pathetic.....

      February 7, 2011 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
    • LBM

      And it's you right wing extremist that refuse to realize that the problems we face in this country right now started on your dime!

      Although I do agree with your autotune statement. Professional singers should either be able to sing and and deliver their words with accuracy. Kinda like professional speech givers that flub their words. Hmmm, come to think of I seem to remember one in particular that flubbed his speeches on a daily basis...

      February 7, 2011 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
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