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. coco

    Ummm vmaxguy – please do your research. Britain declared war on Germany on September 3, 1939. Canada declared war on Germany on September 10, 1939. The United States entered World War II on December 8, 1941.

    February 7, 2011 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
  2. Natrul

    Christina should have run through a few rehearsals before taking the stage. When singing the National Anthem, the verses deserve perfect delivery. They are our American heritage and legacy, and define the courage of the people who sacrificed everything to found this nation. An Emmy performance is not necessary – just get the words right.

    February 7, 2011 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  3. Shawn R

    She messed it up under pressure? I can forgive that. Easier than I can forgive the vast majority of the country that can't recite it because they simply don't know it. I remember taking a test in 8th grade where we had to write it word for word...guess how many got it right..thats right ONE, me..and this was in a DODD school on a military base. I DARE you to randomly test high school students today....I bet you come in around the 7th-10th percentile tops!!!!

    Even the ones that do know it don't know its only the FIRST verse we sing....

    February 7, 2011 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  4. sports medic

    The song is suppose to be sung to honor our country, not promote yourself.

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


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

    Why do they get such crappy lackluster musicians that no one cares about to sing at one of the largest national events? She and the Black Eyed Peas are washed up talentless pop top 40 crap.

    February 7, 2011 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  6. Bill F

    As a retired military person, I just can't understand why we don't do the National Anthem in a simple, respectful manner. Trying to "jazz it up" or make it more appealing is just complicating what is already a complicated piece of music. Show some respect to this country's National Anthem – quit making into something that it is not!

    February 7, 2011 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  7. JimBo

    I'm surprised this doesn't happen more often, or maybe it does but we only hear about it on the really big events. I'm also surprised that for something like the SB they don't use teleprompters or even dub/lip sync to make sure things like this don't happen. On the other hand, this SB had more than its fair share of problems, starting with the weather and related injuries, then the fans who bought seats that "weren't ready in time", then the National Anthem, and finally all of the audio mic issues during the half time performance. I think they were too worried about it being the biggest SB rather than the best SB.

    February 7, 2011 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  8. Terrie

    Wow, have things gotten quiet in Egypt or something. Miss Aguiler's flub is front page news! Celebs make mistakes just like the rest of us but at least ours are not CNN top stories! Way to go CNN!! That's what I call good reporting.

    February 7, 2011 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
  9. F Drebin

    It's Enrico Pallazzo!!!!!!

    ...."lots o bombs in the air...."

    February 7, 2011 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
  10. enid

    IDIOT! Learn the words!!!!

    February 7, 2011 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
  11. Richie P

    Get over yourselves, people! It's a football game! It's guys throwing a ball back and forth. Every American shares the guilt of utilizing our "sacred" national anthem as nothing but a song to sing before some dudes play a stupid game. You have to more right to get all hot and bothered about a singer flubbing a few words than you do about a football player fumbling the ball, yet I don't see you saying, "So and so is not a 'real American' because he threw an interception in the superbowl."

    February 7, 2011 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
  12. lolarites

    Christina, I know you can sing, I've heard you, so why you chose that occasion to not sing, I don't know. Of course, we can cut you some slack and say you got nervous and lost your place (this is someone who has been singing in public since she was a child), but to turn it into a r&b ego fest, catterwallowing like a cat in heat and why you chose to show up looking like it was a rehearsal not a performance will not get you a pass.

    February 7, 2011 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  13. Tony S

    Not only did she not remember the right words, but she was horribly pitchy. The ending was awful!

    February 7, 2011 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  14. Mark G.

    I caught the mistake, too. What a shame. But I was also upset by the way Christina tried to "jazz" up the tune. We should all just sing our national anthem the way it was written!

    February 7, 2011 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  15. Macmaven

    If I wanted the National Anthem sung in some kind of gospel style, I'd go to church to hear it. Christina has a great voice and can truly belt out some music, but let's ensure that we are keeping the song within context and out of the record studios.

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