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. Rob

    She looks like shes trying so hard to make a comeback

    February 7, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Rickeyj

    It happens to the best of us. She is still ok with me.

    February 7, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  3. LaughingCanadian

    Hey Phil!
    Don't fell (sic) sorry for me. I can spell and I guess an AMERCAN school didn't help you?

    February 7, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  4. al

    This is the crux of the problem. The national anthem, when sung as it was composed, is fairly easy to do. But, "artists" feel that they have to take the HONOR of being invited to LEAD the audience, and make it a personal performance. How can those who wish sing along if the melody and lyrics are changed? The anthem is meant to be shared and to be participatory. She butchered it trying to "make it her own". Nice job! Hope they didn't pay her too much......

    February 7, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Matrix

    terrible vocals and lyric memorization. Horrible performance. Why do women feel the need to sing a lot of extra notes throughout the anthem? You can sing it with heart and passion without throwing dozens of extra notes every other word. Unprofessional and shameful. Besides, she has a terrible voice.

    Oh, and that girl from Glee... yuck. Terrible voice as well.

    February 7, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  6. jmarm

    Sometimes I wonder why I taught school for 35 years.

    February 7, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Tehas

    Pretty pathetic performance, (and I love Christina) but, she should have just sang it , and saved the "wailing" for her next album. I agree with a lot of the posts, most Americans don't know the words, they take their freedom for granted and have no allegiance to this Country; they see government as their "Master" and must take care of them= slave mentality.

    February 7, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Joan

    Sometimes I wonder why I taught school for 35 years. An adult still making 4th grade excuses.

    February 7, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Joan

    Its people like this that make me wonder why I taught school for 35 years; adults still making 3rd grade excuses.

    February 7, 2011 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Victor Alfano

    Everyone is too critical! Even though I'm not supportive of some of the personal antics of Christina Aguilera anyone that thinks she doesn't know how to sing should go through a hearing test. Her rendition of the song was just that; her version of our National Song. I didn't even notice that she messed up the words and I bet most people fall into that same category. I can say her range in tone is phenomenal and I enjoyed "her rendition" and can't think of a female vocalist today that has the range that she demonstrated. In my opinion it wasn't pretty but it was effective and enjoyable.

    February 7, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • AlfieB

      Agreed, Mr Alfano.....There's Christina & Mary J Blige.....thats about it.

      February 7, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  11. shoops

    She messed up.....oh well... At least we know it was live and not a recorded track! I'll take a live and sincere effort over a "canned" performance any day!

    February 7, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Steve

    Isn't she a hideous looking old bat?

    February 7, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
  13. herman hope

    Im retired military, i still to this day don't know all the words to the song. Keep the faith America we are all human. We are not perfect.

    February 7, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  14. AlfieB

    being a singer myself, I don't care that she flubbed a lyric.....She sang lip sync....DAT tape......She sang LIVE.

    that's a rarity in this day of high tech American kareoke Idol......Music is Sacred....Kareoke is a Cult

    February 7, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  15. buffy420

    She shouldn't have sung it. Its SUCH an HONOR to be asked to sing the National Anthem and she took it as it was her right...and she screwed it up! Here is the thing that REALLY bugs me tho...I think its RETARDED that we pay these entertainers so much freaking money! They don't do ANYTHING important, they look pretty on tv and in some cases can sing and dance. It is RETARDED that we pay these people ungodly amounts of money to entertain us! What about the people who save our lives, or the people who defend our country or the people who CHANGE our counrty and work to make it a better place? It is INSAINE how much women LIKE HER spend on shoes and handbags while SOOOOO many peolpe live below the poverty line. It really makes me sick.

    February 7, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
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