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. Claire Mathis

    At least she didn't sing all of the verses to the song.

    February 6, 2011 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • pj

      hahaah, funny!

      February 7, 2011 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
  2. Chris

    Absolutely horrific! There is no excuse for messing up the National Anthem. Being a prior veteran myself, every time I hear this song it brings a tear to my eye...when sang correctly. I agree with Jane Kelly, just deliver the song. There is no reason to add all these extra notes. Way to go Christina! I hope there was some clause in your contract that says, "if you mess the song up, we may collect a refund".

    February 6, 2011 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |

      @Chris...How can you be a "prior veteran"? did you die and come back again or what? I'm a veteran myself, but I did not realize one could be a prior veteran.

      February 6, 2011 at 10:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chicken

      Dude you are either a veteran or not.

      February 6, 2011 at 11:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eric

      Mr. Fantastic you're an idiot. I hate people who pick apart grammar, semantics, spelling, and so on while posting to others' blogs. You claim to be a veteran in an attempt to give some additional credence to your post and then turn and make such an "astute observation" in the words chosen by another veteran in order to put them down. Moron. Before that you chastised ChicagoNick for insulting an entertainer, but yet you have no problem insulting another veteran.
      You may very well be a veteran, but you are certainly a smart ass.
      I'm a veteran and if you are too and aren't offended by all the rhetoric on this blog alluding to the lack of meaning in our National Anthem that you would have stood at attention to countless times, then you should be ashamed of yourself. I bet if you lost any fellow brothers in arms to combat and listened to the National Anthem at their memorial service, you were probably moved by it. You would have been upset if it was performed wrong. It always represents those men and women who serve, even at a football game, and should be performed with dignity.

      February 6, 2011 at 11:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • brent

      More Canadians know the words to the American anthem than americans, its sad 60% of Americans are too fat too stand when its sung, If they keep gaining weight they won't be able to hold their big meaty hands over their over worked diabetic hearts for the duration of the song. just sayin

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

      Bush and Cheney invaded Iraq and killed over 1 million innocent folks. I think that was much worse than making a mistake with our nat'l anthem. Too bad there wasnt a clause for those 2 war criminal clowns.
      Aguilera did a wonderful singing job.

      February 7, 2011 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
  3. Jay In Florida

    Christina Aguilera deserves every single bit of shame coming her way for being a bimbo.

    February 6, 2011 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • driving

      there's no way you look that good' and singing i'am sure is worse

      February 8, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  4. LeahB

    Every once in a blue moon I'll watch Whitney Houston's rendition of the anthem on Youtube, because it was that good! It's a challenging song, but it just flowed right out of her. It was such a great moment!

    February 6, 2011 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Merely Amused

      Bet she couldn't sing it now...

      February 6, 2011 at 11:58 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Sue Diane

    I didn't realize so many people had so little to do–(including me for this very moment!) What a shame–change the channel–it is only TV!

    February 6, 2011 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Kevin

    To those of you who say Christina has no talent: Seriously? Have you ever seen her in concert? She is EXTREMELY talented, and also 100% American. She screwed up, period. Cut her a break.

    February 6, 2011 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • D Green

      It's not that she missed some words. It's that she butchered it by not sining it straight, however, I knew she would do that. Virtually all pop and jip stars do just that, and it's wrong. It's our national anthem. It should be sung straight.

      February 6, 2011 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim


      And she CAN sing. Problem is, she's more interested in doing something that superficially resembles singing, than actually singing, most of the time. Sad.

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

    i vote for "I Got You (I Feel Good)" by james brown.
    it's way more fun.

    February 6, 2011 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Dave

    Best Version Ever...

    February 6, 2011 at 10:37 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jon

    Sounded like Mariah Carry on crack!

    February 6, 2011 at 10:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • joe

      more like Mariah Carey with something IN her crack!

      February 6, 2011 at 10:59 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Rj

    I forgive her... 🙂

    February 6, 2011 at 10:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • joe


      February 6, 2011 at 10:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • mi17mtp

      for what? What did she do to you?

      February 7, 2011 at 7:39 am | Report abuse |
  11. nrgizrbny

    Christina did FINE.
    The audience loved it.
    Detailed accuracy is not that important,
    how many other national anthems are a waltz?

    February 6, 2011 at 10:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • joe

      shows what you know – NOTHING!

      February 6, 2011 at 10:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • ed

      She didn't do THAT fine, she could have avoided this, she never had this problems before, she needed to stay focus in performing at her level and not focusing in performing the best performance, she has admitted being too perfectionist.
      @joe IF you can do it better..................

      February 7, 2011 at 3:22 am | Report abuse |
  12. soy sauce

    meh...she's human.

    February 6, 2011 at 10:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • CJ179

      Didn't really dig the half time show either. Sounded bad even on an HD system with surround sound. I actually turned the channel a couple of minutes into half time.

      February 6, 2011 at 10:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      yeah messing up OUR national anthem was bad IMO because of the fact that solders have died for our country and all but what was worse was "like HI kk look at I'm full of myself... like Hi everyone.... hi look I'm jk like HI kk"..... what a joke Christina. And notice in the very beginning before the game Christina didn't know the camera was on and she was like "yeah uh when am i gonna get down from here.. like ok?" and then the announcer said her name and she was like, "HI kk look at I'm full of myself... like Hi everyone.... hi look I'm jk like HI kk". absolute shame.

      February 6, 2011 at 11:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • ridge

      She actually thanked the crowd at the end thinking they were cheering for her not the USA!!!

      February 6, 2011 at 11:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jordan

      I agree. At least she wasn't lip syncing like so many pop stars.

      February 6, 2011 at 11:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aloisae

      She was also paid a small fortune to sing a very well known and simple (in terms of lyrics though not music) song and she messed up both the words and made a hash of the music. She owes them a full refund for the night plus damages.

      February 6, 2011 at 11:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Candy

      Christina ranked right up there with one of the worse performances for singing our national anthem, whoever said she could sing? They should go back to letting the bands play it, less chance of screwing it up like the singers do.

      February 6, 2011 at 11:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mort Solomon

      Seriously!!! Rosannes rendition was horrible BUT AT LEAST SHE GOT THE WORDS RIGHT!!!!!
      Good Lord this country is in DEEP trouble and all because we cater to the minority!!!!

      February 6, 2011 at 11:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • b in SLC

      Normally I like Xtina, but she totally screwed this up.... She knows the words.... Now, if you want to hear how it should be sung, I think this is one of the best versions... At a Chiefs game... One Flew South - a cappella - no craziness...

      February 6, 2011 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • AmericanSam

      Yeah. She's human.

      February 6, 2011 at 11:31 pm | Report abuse |
  13. cheytac

    Side bar...i kept looking at the stage with the three rows of flags behind the stage. The way it was ordered, it kind of looked like the French flag which is blue, white and red.

    February 6, 2011 at 10:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ray Y

      Yes she did flub it badly and her singing style makes my ears ache, but I did notice the flags the way they were displayed and remarked to my girlfriend that "Are we saluting France?" She took another look and said "How could they screw that up also?" Maybe let veterans sing and do the pre game festivities next time NFL.

      February 6, 2011 at 11:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mort Solomon

      Go figure, a Mexican singing the National Anthem. hmmmmmmm.

      February 6, 2011 at 11:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Merely Amused

      Mort, as was pointed out all over the place, she was born in NYC to a MILITARY family. Her dad was in the Army. Racist much?

      February 7, 2011 at 12:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Army Wife

      Hey Merely Amused...that's all the more reason she should have gotten it right!

      February 7, 2011 at 2:08 am | Report abuse |
  14. Joey

    No one is perfect, maybe she got some anxiety or something singing in front of the whole nation on live television.

    February 6, 2011 at 10:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • joe

      Oh grow some balls dude. For what she get's paid, and on a national stage, her performance should have been flawless. What an embarrassment to her generation. Simply disgusting!

      February 6, 2011 at 10:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      so true joe. she needs to take a few deployments to Afghanistan.

      February 6, 2011 at 11:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marlye

      She's been performing in front of live audiences and TV cameras for years, she messed up because she's an idiot. I laughed through her whole performance.

      February 6, 2011 at 11:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Amy

      I didn't watch it. I'm not really a fan of sports. But everyone is human. I'm sure she's embarrassed, so let it go, people.

      February 6, 2011 at 11:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      Yeah Joe she's an embarrassment to her generation lol. Do you even have any concept of what that might mean? Get out of your little box dude, messing up a song is not an 'embarrassment to a generation'

      February 6, 2011 at 11:18 pm | Report abuse |
  15. snott

    the whole entertainment part sucked.a train wreck.

    February 6, 2011 at 10:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • John B

      I completely agree. Just terrible.

      February 6, 2011 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sippi

      You said it.

      February 6, 2011 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Missy

      I agree. When will folks learn the National Anthem is a war victory song. Not a ballad, not a pop song. The reason Whitney Houston's version is so loved, is because she sang it as a victory song, without all the extra nonsense.

      February 6, 2011 at 10:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      yep. bring back U2. do it right. never bring back that blonde ditz.

      February 6, 2011 at 11:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jamie

      Agree. And they had to return 400 tickets. Lowsy planning, glad the pack won though.

      February 6, 2011 at 11:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jonas

      @ The US lost that war that the poem written during. Learn your own history.

      February 6, 2011 at 11:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sleepy Jean

      The woman is human and I'd like to see any of you morons get up there and sing it even 50% better. can ANYONE take a comment seriously from someone who refers to themselves as "snott"??? huh????

      February 6, 2011 at 11:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • HumBoldt

      Both Aguillere and the half time show were criminally bad. Where do they get these idiots?

      February 6, 2011 at 11:15 pm | Report abuse |
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