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. SGT Mills

    I'm not a religious Television watcher (but will watch the SuperBowl); but the 'Glee' celebrity did an outstanding job singing " America the Beautiful" I currently saw the Super Bowl last night while deployed to Iraq. I stood to the National Anthem to HONOR the greatest country in the existing world. Once I heard the first notes, I was already DISAPPOINTED and ASHAMED. We've lost our brothrens fighting for the people and this GREAT country, and to have a celebrity that shows NO HONOR to the sacrifices the people here and in afghanistan have made; Butching a song of great importance to the point even the Foot ball Players lost focus in the honors. I don't know her history and could care less, but would expect a national apology for the apolling effort she made and in reversed exploited the National Anthem and somehow redeeming her efforts.

    ........................Completely disappointed..............................

    February 8, 2011 at 2:12 am | Report abuse |
  2. Mattia

    Excuse my bad English, i'm years ago an italian football player, claudio marchisio, during italian anthem (Switzerland – Italy) changed a word of the song with an offence to Rome inhabitants ( "Roma ladrona" that means " thieving Rome " Aguilera's forgetfullness so important?!

    February 8, 2011 at 6:16 am | Report abuse |
  3. robin

    Too much Hollywood, too much glamour-not enough brains to represent this country in such an this the best we have to offer? There are so many other talented folks in this country who can sing.Let's find them.....and cut the Hollywood acts and just sing the song, as we recognize it.Is it really important who sings the anthem?.....folks don't go to the events to hear ball!

    February 8, 2011 at 8:21 am | Report abuse |
  4. Bonnie

    Yes, she did a horrible job. The NFL should not give the famous people any more exposure. They don't need it. Perhaps the NFL should use local talent from the super bowl cities and give them a chance to sing our anthem. An "American Idol" type tryout would be much more exciting and give the up and coming new talent a good showcase.

    February 8, 2011 at 8:59 am | Report abuse |
  5. MrBill

    I have the cahones to go up there and sing the song. I am not a singer; never have been and never will be. But I know the lyrics backwards and forwards, not to mention what time signature in which the song should be sung (3/4.) Christina has something in common with Whitney Houston's rendtion of the anthem. Both are very powerful singers, but neither of them know how to properly sing the song in the correct meter.

    February 8, 2011 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
  6. Stance

    Our local Las Vegas radio station announced Monday afternoon that Christina's friends are rushing to her defense. Her friends say that Christina has been drinking a lot lately and she was no doubt drunk on stage at the Super Bowl. That's just great. A drunk on stage to sing the National Anthem no wonder her hair was such a mess. Not only does Christina join the nasty ranks of Janet Jackson performing at the Super Bowl, she's also a stone's throw from the 12 step Alcoholics Anonymous program. Aretha Franklin should be singing the National Anthem with the style, grace and powerful voice that she has inside. At least Aretha and Christina have something in common....they are almost the same size (referencing the whole black, to slim down, outfit Christina was wearing right down to her black fingernail polish and black bracelet).

    February 8, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  7. driving

    no joe"' is a wuss'ee time's three

    February 8, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  8. driving

    James R Well said ' some people have nothing to say unless it is bad" you will see more bad comment's than good one's' and it will never Change' it is only going to get worse' till the End of Time""""

    February 8, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Mediator

    Not sure how some of the above comments got off topic from Christina's "All About Herself Anthem" at the Super Bowl but if you do a Google search on WW II history, you will gain knowledge of the fact that Canada fought in World War II for THREE YEARS prior to United States entering that war.

    February 8, 2011 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  10. pn

    So tired of all these criticisms. People make mistakes, even the most professional. So if some people do not understand that people can make mistakes, they have the problem.

    February 8, 2011 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Alex Santana

    This is typical of the level of "stars" we have in this country. It used to be that people in music or TV or flims, earned their way to the top, like John Wayne, Henry Fonda, Glenn Miller. Now, bimbos like this woman have a few meaningless hits and the world thinks they are this classless Justin Bieber...none of these people are owed the adulation they are getting and when push comes to shove, like Aguilera singing the National Anthem, her lack of any real experience or "dues paid" shows...most of the names in enterainment world today don't deserve where they are...they are just commecially popular and make money for their record company or TV show etc. They did not earn it and when they fail like this talentless hack did, it is more expected and should not be a shock. She did not come up the way the real stars did not that long ago.

    February 8, 2011 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Former Liberal Now Republican

    Could of been worse, like Shakira or Lady GooGoo!!!!! And the icing having the Steelers win again last minute with a little help from their friends (referees). Who will it be next year? Cheech and Chong? As long as there's no wardrobe malfunction.

    February 8, 2011 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse |
  13. El Jefe

    Mexicano al Grito de Guerra!!!!

    February 8, 2011 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
  14. jarod

    its simple. she messed up because she was trying too hard to add a bunch of over-the-top runs on every other word. In fact, I was so distracted by her poor choice of arrangement and runs that i didnt even notice she messed up the words. A few well placed runs would have been beautiful – instead...

    February 9, 2011 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  15. jarod

    its simple. she messed up because she was trying too hard to add a bunch of over-the-top runs on every other word. In fact, I was so distracted by her poor choice of arrangement and runs that i didnt even notice she messed up the words. A few well placed runs would have been beautiful – instead...

    February 9, 2011 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
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