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. Eli

    Jim Corneilison sang the same song at Soldier Field in Chi-town during the NFC Championship and it sounded great. Proud and bowdy like the beer hall tune it was there was none of this mealy mouth pop crap. I tear up when its sung they way it was written. I turned red last night hearing this burnt up pop tart.

    February 7, 2011 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Ed Bourelly

    No one has done it like Whitney Houston. Beyonce was second, but Whitney brought tears to my eyes. Isn't Christina Canadian?

    February 7, 2011 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • TorontoGuy

      Ya she is, but we don't care for the most part. It's like Justin Bieber. He's from Toronto. Do we care? No, not really. Unless you're a 16 year old girl in the US, no one knows or cares who this guys is! It's the same with Christina Aguilera. or Céline Dion. It's just commercial crap in the end and it shows!

      February 7, 2011 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steph

      Christina A. isn't Canadian...she is from Pittsburgh.

      February 7, 2011 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • TorontoGuy

      So there you go! She's from Pittsburgh! She's still screwed up BIG TIME IMHO! I have no pithy for her. She was to sing the US national anthem at the largest event A-mericans could possibly broadcast to the world, and she screwed up the lyrics! What an embarrassment!

      February 7, 2011 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bea

      She's not Canadian, she's from near Pittsburgh.

      February 7, 2011 at 10:43 pm | Report abuse |
  3. dan

    If she had all the words right, it would still rate as one of the worst performances of the song ever sung. the anthem is about the the anthem and country. Read the words, read the music, sing the words and music as written. It does not need to be more more rock, more hip hop, more country, more swing, more soul ....

    February 7, 2011 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
  4. TorontoGuy

    I totally agree with CanadianObserver. This is an embarrassment to your country. The rest of the world couldn't care less about the Super Bowl or the NFL, but we tune into it anyway, mostly to see the commercials and the half time fiascoes. The game itself was BORING! I fell asleep and woke up to catch the commercials in the 4th quarter. I honestly couldn't care less. With all the money spent at a rate of 10 million dollars per second (which is a MASSIVE waste of money), the least you could do is have a professional singer sing your national anthem correctly without screwing it up! Christina Aguilera is HIGHLY over-rated, and should not be allowed to do this again at any sporting event. Get a real singer next time who has memorized the lyrics!

    February 7, 2011 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Filthy McNasty

    Hey Canada,

    You are quite right. We are very arrogantly proud but now we have nothing to back it up with. It's mainly all the bleeding heart liberals that have tried to force us to accept gay (F-G) weddings, Lazy blacks and mexicans that feel all of us(people that actually work for a living regardless of skin color) owe these sh-tbags a living and free healthcare. So how do I get to move to your so-called better country with its awesome healthcare and backwoods intelligence, EH?

    February 7, 2011 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • TorontoGuy

      First of all, stop your racism, your bigotry, and your hatred of other people in your society (which is impossible, it is ingrained into your culture). Accept people for who and what they are no matter what (also impossible for A-mericans to accomplish, it's too late!). Second, disarm your population. A-merica has an obsession with guns and violence and it's out of control (you'll never disarm-it's too late, 3.2 guns per house-hold and rising)l. Third of all, heal your inner cities, i.e. Detroit, Philadelphia, D.C;, L.A, N.Y, etc. etc. and for god sakes, raise the consciousness in Arizona. That state is messed up man! Feed your poor and your hungry (mostly children)! Improve your prison and legal systems, and for god sakes, get the bad cops off of your streets, it's disgusting!

      As an outsider who has spent a lot of time in the US, I have very little optimism. I only see the situation getting worse with every visit. Hate and violence is a way of life in the US, and I don't see it ending or getting better anytime soon. So good luck!

      Meanwhile, your friendly neighbors to the North (who have our own own problems to deal with, but not nearly on the scale of yours), will be chillin' peacefully, with gun control, tolerance, health care for all, an understanding and respect of others, a strong economy (our dollar is worth more than yours is now), and a high quality of life. We will never say that we are better than you, but we know that we have it better up here in so many respects. We just don't brag about it like you do.

      Whether you want to face the truth or not, the US is spiraling downwards. IMHO, there is nothing that can be done. Point figures in all directions, it doesn't matter. The past 20 to 30 years has set this up. It's not just Obama and the liberals. It started with Reagan and Chaney in the 80's, and it's set a course that cannot be stopped. All I can sy is try to be good to your neighbors, and help people when you can. Do your small part to help people and be selfless, without an agenda.

      February 7, 2011 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Filthy McNasty

    I used to like aguilera, but she literally blew this one to hell and back. If I wanted to hear her music I would go and buy it. But I wanted to hear that song done with the respect it deserves to all of those who died for us. SHE SUCKED BALLS!!! BIG TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 7, 2011 at 9:10 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Max

    Sad to say, in America, children are not taught the National Anthem, then they grow up and do this. What happened America? When did we go from being something to being nothing?

    February 7, 2011 at 9:10 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Mistakes

    I agree that performers should not "give it their own style" but I do believe that we all make mistakes. I do not think that it is unAmerican that she messed up, I believe that it is human error. This human error was partically created by performers believing that they are "all that". Have you ever turned off the accompaniment and just listened to them sing? You can really tell how good (or bad) they are, especially when the sound effects are taken away. I did this to my TV and realized how much of The Black Eyed Peas' singing was sound effects. It was very disheartening for me, but they might have just been "vocally tired". Concerts can be very straining on your voice.

    February 7, 2011 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Cavalry Medic

    I don't think anybody here noticed that even though she messed up her lyrics, The soldier in Afghanistan we still standing at attention. And even my self, watching the same time, was standing at attention here in Iraq. People mess up not a huge deal. people all make mistakes. The real disrespect I think is coming from the players on the field. jumping around and holding their pads. Last i checked we held our hand over our hearts for the national anthem. To me as a soldier in Iraq that was more disrespectful to me and my fellow brothers and sisters in uniform than Christina Aguilera messing up while singing the song. The media made a huge deal over Obama when he was running for president 3 years ago. I don't see one thing about the players disrespecting this country at all. Last I checked it was a law to hold your hand over your heart till I looked it up and found out that it is a law. goto–000-.html that is the US penal code for the national anthem and what should be done when it plays. I like to think that people in America care about us over seas fighting war for them to be free and just ask for a little respect for the flag that we all wear on our right shoulder. it's kind of de-moralizing to see people disrespect the flag, the country, and the people that make this country free.

    February 7, 2011 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
  10. noneone

    I turned the channel before she sang, to save myself the anger over yet another "star" butchering our Anthem with thier "style".

    I have not heard our Anthem sung right since the 80's. You would think people who have gotten so much from America would take the few minutes it takes to get it right.

    I would prefer servicemen or grade school children sing it from now on. They understand it is our song, not some self ventered performer trying to "make it thiers".

    The real question is, can we still get anyone that can sing it the way it was written ? Someone that understands that the act of singing it the way it was written in their voice is what makes it memorable.

    Lets get someone who loves to sing it because they love our country, and not just attention.

    February 7, 2011 at 10:13 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Phil G.

    I was profoundly disappointed in Christina.

    Simply because she has so much singing talent she does'nt need to -technique sing- anything.

    She tried to -technique sing- the national Anthem,got impressed with how she was doing it and lost her train of thought.

    Come on Girl,You are WAY BETTER THEN THIS.

    Next time I know you will do way better.

    February 7, 2011 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Victor Nunnally

    Did she get paid to sing the national anthem? If so, fire her.

    February 7, 2011 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Ric

    I do not understand all that screaming coming out of her mouth, trying to hit every note possible, on top of the poor her poor performance. What a shame.

    February 7, 2011 at 11:13 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Mehgann

    I don't think she was nervous. I am a singer, have done so professionally, and I have to say that the songs you make those kinds of errors in are the ones you know the best. Don't ask me why, but I know it's true. What I find offensive is the fact that people think this is a song to make their own. Just stop with the melismas already! It's our national anthem...why are we subjected to the butchering of it? I would love to see it sung by everyone as a group. Or by a children's choir. Anything but these screaming divas!

    February 8, 2011 at 12:10 am | Report abuse |
  15. esreddy3

    ROFLMAO......that picture looks like it was taken at a Neo Nazi rally. The hitler salute and screaming. hahhahahha

    February 8, 2011 at 12:38 am | Report abuse |
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