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. Rick

    She is worse than Rosie O'Donnell when she sang the anthem. Christina was god awful!!! Why can' they find some one who can sing the anthem the way it is suppose to be sung?????

    February 7, 2011 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
  2. MikeMazzla

    Lets file this under whats the big deal.. she fumbled the what

    February 7, 2011 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
  3. JG

    If these performers would just sing the National Anthem instead of trying to make it a concert moment there would be less mistakes. This is your country, you are surrounded by military personnel and you can't remember the words! Really? Perhaps the NFL should get school children from schools that participate in the National Anthem Project to sing. I guarantee they know the words and they would not make this mistake even if they "got lost" in the moment.

    February 7, 2011 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
  4. Bob Cargill

    I would be willing to bet she got a large paycheck for singing our national anthem. You would think she could have at least memorized the lyrics or maybe had a prompter set up. Very unprofessional.

    February 7, 2011 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
  5. Northview

    She had the reddest lips I have ever seen. Ever.

    February 7, 2011 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
  6. Dante

    She is the poster child for today's over-the-top diva. How self-absorbed do you have to be to try and impress everyone with your diva-like, overwrought performance of the National Anthem. It's no wonder she forgot the words to the song–it was all about her and her 3 octaves of range and soul. Pathetic. Check out Whitney Houston's awesome version of the National Anthem a few years ago and see how it's done, amateur.

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

    Of all the big stories you could have spotlighted in regard to the Superbowl, you pick this one? How about spotlighting the winning team, the MVP, how a battered team kept overcoming adversity to win, the Packer fans' love of their team? Why isn't that bigger news CNN?

    February 7, 2011 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
  8. TC

    Well, what did they expect? She can barely speak English.

    February 7, 2011 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
  9. david

    let's see / not prepared-does not know the song and has no singing ability / sounds perfect to me.............................

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

    Its time for producers and ego-maniacal singers to realize this is OUR National Anthem; its not a vehicle to display their stylisims. Its selfish to take an ANTHEM (its a specific musical style!) and impose your own style on it. Do that all you want with other pieces of music, but don't steal what is supposed to be a shared moment by excluding people who aren't into your personal style. You should instead be honored to share the moment with your fellow Americans.

    February 7, 2011 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Amused

      Do you realize that the melody and music for the Star Spangled Banner is an old British DRINKING SONG written by John Stafford Smith for the Anacreontic Society? So, if you sound like you are drunk when you sing it, then you are being perfectly true to its origins! It is actually a rather difficult melody to sing...

      February 7, 2011 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  11. v.a

    I enjoy the irony of a former Army brat screwing up the National Anthem

    February 7, 2011 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
  12. Baltar

    What is she doing in that pic, looks like the Nazi salute. Rather embarrasing that she could not sing the National Anthem correctly. I understand the overwhelming aspect, but she is supposed to be a professional. Act like it and practice it a bit before you perform in front of 400 million people. No wonder the rest of the world hates us, lazy lazy lazy.

    February 7, 2011 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
  13. latfriend

    Please leave her alone. No one is perfect. I don't think there are too many of us who have the talent or the nerve to do what she did. It must be frightening to be on that stage. I think she has a beautiful voice. That's my opinion. But even if you don't like her or her voice, just leave her alone. Why do we have to be so cruel?

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


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

    She should be in the Roseanne Barr Hall of Fall. This woman not only screwed up the words, she can't even sing! All that was.... WAS SCREAMING!!! ... Horrific... I can't believe she is considered a singer... she'd make a better Hog Caller!!

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