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. Chickenhawk

    How many of us would much rather see Mrs. Shimel's second grade class from Northwood Elementary of Bumblefunk, Wisconson than Snookie Agullera hamming up anyway? If someone is going to get it wrong, make it people who we don't mind seeing getting it wrong. It would be cheaper, much more fun, way more exciting for everyone and would truly bring tears to the eyes of the fans for good reason.

    February 7, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
  2. SpinnyLiberal

    It's interesting that posters say that it should be sung the way it was supposed to be sung. One country actually fines performers who don't sing their anthem correctly. Would you be in favor of that? Just curious.

    February 7, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  3. zesh

    anyone else notice the nazi hand symbol shes doing in the picture?

    February 7, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Tomoyo

    It's just a song.

    End of discussion.

    February 7, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Guest

    If you're invited to sing the nationl anthem and you forgot the lyrics, then you're a disgraced, People who says no big deal are those who knows nothing about what is a national anthem...these people think it's just a song, so no big deal. WAKE UP AMERCIA, IT'S NOT JUST A SONG, IT'S A NATIONAL ANTHEM!! How can I respect Americans when americans think the national anthem is no big deal. This is a joke!

    February 7, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
  6. EM

    Hey she did great, I don't fault her one bit. The most important thing you get out of any song is emotion, not the technicality of perfect memorization of lyrics. How many of you sing in the shower? Ok, how many of you singing in the shower can guarantee that every single time you are able to sing the exact, specific perfect and correct lyrics of that song that you are trying to sing? Hmm?

    Besides, she's good-looking and that's all that counts.

    February 7, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Carol

    It is perilous "night", not "fight"...!

    February 7, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
  8. zulma perez=sotomayor

    please give the poor girl a break. so she forgot the lines .big deal, i bet all of you commenting don't know the words either.i didn't noticed she forgot the lyrics because i confess i do not know all the words. she has a terrific voice and can hold a high note. as long as she sung the song with respect and not like other performers in the past, we should give her a break.

    February 7, 2011 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Kevin Whittington

    She messed up the national anthem? That's all I needed to hear. She is obviously a terrorist and none of this would have happened if it weren't for Sarah Palin's tea bag party rhetoric. Blah blah blah,something about 9/11.

    February 7, 2011 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
  10. bigwen

    The supper ball is way bigger than the NBA finals

    February 7, 2011 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
  11. catalia

    To all those who are criticizing Christina for messing up the words...since when did you become perfect? Come one! People make mistakes! Get over it. It sounds like a lot of you are taking your frustrations out on someone else instead of looking at yourselves. And for those of you who think she was off-key or that her voice was horrendous...any professional musician will tell you she has one of the best voices...hands down. You don't have to like her as a person...I don't. But don't take your dislike for her or what she does and translate that to "she can't sing". Get a hearing aid....

    February 7, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
  12. James R.

    She messed up the words, she apologized, what else do you want her to say....It's not the end of the world, and no one was hurt by this tragedy. Moving on to a real story now...

    February 7, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      Seemed like it was an "all about me" performance...uncomely overdone! No reverence here.

      February 7, 2011 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sky135

      Agreed. Christina has brought great music into this world and for the media to jump on her like this is pretty sad. Seems like the media really likes to build up and tear down people just for ratings. She deserves better.

      February 7, 2011 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • R&Bsux

      If she deserves better, then she should have sang the song right, from the start. We already knew her protential. But to destroy something that important ESPECIALLY with the things going on now,

      ...... HONOUR THE FIGHTING AND THE FALLEN NOT YOURSELF........................

      February 8, 2011 at 2:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Leslie

      I agree with James. Do we really need to lynch Miss Aguilera? How many of you have the kahones to go up there and sing that extraordinarily difficult song? Despite her mistake, I thought her performance was beautiful and quite moving.

      In further reading comments, I am wondering what is proper etiquette when someone is asked to perform our national anthem? Is it appropriate for the rest of us to sing along or not? I generally do, but in a quiet voice so as not to distract others. My thoughts are with those they say everyone should sing along – especially if you are feeling particularly moved or patriotic....

      February 8, 2011 at 8:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      If you do not add a few hundred more notes, you might be able to remember the words.

      February 8, 2011 at 8:47 am | Report abuse |
    • driving

      well said' people have nothing to do but make fun and slander people's name's"

      February 8, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Parnelli

      GLUG GLUG GLUG – is it too much to ask for the performer to know the words AND show up sober? Not to mention that the rendition was one of the worst I have ever heard. Looks like they had the wrong singer sing the wrong song (see America the Beautiful).

      February 8, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • linnora1

      So, I'm assuming none of the commenters have ever messed up singing it. People make mistakes. It could have happened to anyone, including performers.

      February 8, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Carol

      Initially I was upset & kind of angry actually. It seems that a pro should be able to do this song, and do it as it was meant to be sung-without all the improv goings on. That's why she lost her place, either that or she had l too many prior to her taking the stage-she has,afterall sung this song 2 times before in public. Audiences don't bother singers. But, another theory is, if she sang it perfect-would we be talking about that-NOPE..The big "P" free publicity..Afterall she was born in NY (Staten Island) so she's an American citizen -little kids know this song. To future performers-Stop Putting Your "Spin" on It-it isn't about "You".

      February 10, 2011 at 6:18 am | Report abuse |
  13. Rose

    It's time to cut the cute performances and have the National Anthem sung by EVERYONE at all sports and community events.

    February 7, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jay

      Amen to that!

      February 7, 2011 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joyce

      I agree with Rose! Instead of a performer, let's ALL sing the National Anthem at games! Wouldn't that be so much more moving and beautiful, to hear thousands of people singing their love for this county!

      February 7, 2011 at 11:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cec

      Although I ain't an american...I truly like their National Anthem as it does stir up a certain emotion in me each time it is sung or aired. HOwever, Ms.Aquilera...killed it....she sang it in a truly grotesque fashion..why can't people sing the NA the way it is supposed to with true passion, poise and simplicity...try it. OR maybe one of our Canadian's could do a better job !!!

      February 8, 2011 at 8:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Carol

      I agree ! Everyone should sing that wants to-a true American rendition! Wouldn't that be fabulous? Could have a Choir-or kids from the local area on the field, leading & the words on the TV's acting like Kareoke!!!

      February 10, 2011 at 6:24 am | Report abuse |
  14. Ana23

    Christina A. has the notorious reputation of thinking she is all that and her shtuff doesn't stink. Hopefully this will take her down a few notches. Why was she selected anyway? She's kind of washed up at this point.

    Above and beyond screwing up the lyrics, the performance was still terrible. I'm sick of performers butchering the Anthem with their so-called "personal style," which takes away from the song, instead of adding to it.

    That being said... The Star Spangled Banner is a HARD song to sing. That is the sole reason why a lot of performers lip sync the song instead of singing live. I'm sure her "people" advised her to record it, but miss thang didn't listen. Now look at what we have...

    February 7, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  15. SpinnyLiberal

    What should her punishment be? Burning at the stake? It's my favorite part of the Superbowl, but even I know it was unintentional and a big screw up. Come on people.

    February 7, 2011 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
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