Christina Aguilera Fumbles National Anthem Lyrics at Super Bowl XLV: How Bad Was It?

Holy melisma, Super Bowl watchers! Christina Aguilera messed up the lyrics to “The Star-Spangled Banner” right before kickoff of the Green Bay-Pittsburgh game. At the moment where the “Dirrty” singer was supposed to be belting “O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming,” she reverted back to a variation on the previously sung “what so proudly we watched, at the twilight’s last reaming.” Whoops! As my friend Drew remarked, “Wait, she’s not secretly Canadian, right?” Negative, sir! Maybe this was just some kind of poorly conceived viral marketing campaign for Don’t Forget the Lyrics? Making matters worse: That shot of stony faced U.S. troops stationed in Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan that immediately followed the flub. Oh to be a fly on the wall of those soldiers minds. (A+ juxtaposition, crafty Fox editing-booth employee!)

Whatever the case may be, I can’t help but die inside (just a little) for the Artist Occasionally Known as Xtina. I mean, here’s a recording artist with the actual ability to sing live, coming off a massive 2010 flop with her album Bionic, and all anyone’s going to be able to remember about her performance is her Super-sized fumble. Then again, at least girlfriend wasn’t lipsynching!

Where do you think this ranks on the Celebrity Shame-o-Meter? Share your thoughts, feelings, and condolences below.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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214 Comments
  1. Rolfe says:

    What a mess! She just needs to retire!

    • Brandi Sullivan says:

      I agree. One thing I HATE about her is she is ALWAYS trying to break some damn sound record. JUST SING NORMAL CHRISTINA!!!! Stop trying so hard to get back into spotlight… well you indeed acheived your spot back in spotlight actually but it was the WRONG one. Maybe you shouldnt SCREAM in every song you sing!!!!

      • And how can you mess lyrics at a time like that?!!? I blame you for Steelers loss. I think you are the one who got there pride down to win the Superbowl.

        • Davis Field says:

          Somebody give this guy a medal….. :D
          It was a shame to America. A funny thing though is that when we had a Canadian sing the National Anthem it turned out to be the best performance ever.

    • Terry says:

      I am a musician and I think that Christina is amazing. She made a mistake and covered it well. I think we should all give her a break. Maybe she was a bit nervous or not feeling well but I personally will ways love her voice. I only wish I had an amazing voice like that.

    • irene purdy Torrance says:

      I think FORGET THE CELEBRITIES. Get a Young teenager with an exceptional voice. *there are plenty out there) Get the kids involved and you’ll hear a Clear Melody well articulated and interesting to watch. I would watch just to see Who the child is of the year……….At the same time if this preformer has such a talent, he or she just might be discovered. I’m all for talent and Not for an already BIG STAR. They always want to do their version and usually screw it up.\

      Yours truly Irene Purdy Torrance Chateauguay Quebec Montreal P.Q
      Canada

  2. Sharon says:

    The flub was the worst of it, but none of it was good, imo. I’m tired of celeb diva singers turning the National Anthem into their own “vibe”.. yech.

    • Dawn says:

      Couldn’t agree more!

    • billy vincent says:

      That was the worse rendition of the National Anthem I have ever heard. It was bad enough she screwed up the words but just screamed instead of singing. Why couldn’t she just sing the damn song…. Terrible.

    • Ghost of Kelly Clarkson says:

      I find it insulting and unpatriotic when singer decide to add their own melody to the National Anthem. What’s next? We make up our own words to the Pledge of Allegiance? We add a party hat to the Statue of Liberty? Sheesh.

      • Louanne says:

        We already did. “Under God” was not in the original.

        • blah says:

          at least that was a change for the better

          • jon says:

            There’s actually been four modifications to the pledge of allegiance.

            Three were for concision and clarity, the fourth was added by the same Christian Extremist who made In God We Trust our national motto instead of E Pluribus Unum.

            Anybody who doesn’t believe in the separation of Church and State needs to read the judiciary act of 1789.

            Either way, lyrics + melody + intonation make a song, and she f***ed up all of them!

    • apolonia says:

      Could we just get someone to sing the anthem AS WRITTEN!! It’s as though they can’t find the melody. Give me a break. The messed up lyrics were the least of her problems. I too, wondered if she were Canadian…………..

    • Julia Bell says:

      I am canadian, and I totally agree that “celeb Diva’s” seem to blow it.

    • Ed says:

      I couldn’t agree more. Let’s start insisting on a certain level of respect for the tradition of singing the national anthem (and other traditional songs like hymns and carols). I was far more irritated at the approach to the performance than I was to the unfortunate lyric flub. If you want to show that a song means something to you, it’s usually better to be more introspective about it that to amp up the volume and ornamentation. I guess with 16 bazillion people watching, the temptation may be powerful to “kill it.”

      I actually like Christina Aguilera in general, and think she has a great voice and sense of pitch. She is not the worst or only Star Spangled Banner offender by any means. I’m equally enraged by the opera singers who over-dramatize the thing.

  3. Vada says:

    Xtina sucked. Forgetting the lyrics was a minor fumble, compared to the way she butchered the melody. A little melisma is fine, but don’t rewrite the melody, unless you are good at it.

  4. Michelle says:

    It was pretty bad. Poor Christina.

    • sara says:

      poor Christina?? She has no one to blame but herself. Anyone could mess up the lyrics, but completely changing(destroying/trashing/obliterating) the melody? She thought she was more important than the anthem. She isn’t.

      • Me says:

        I always think of myself first, family second, friends third….
        coutry the 31st…. anthem the 1056987th.
        She IS more important. Celebrities: 17th.

  5. Jennifer says:

    I knew when it was announced that she would sing she would butcher the melody but I wasn’t expecting her to butcher the lyrics too. It’s forgivable when it’s a young, nervous kid. She’s been in this business far too long for it to be a cute little flub.

    • billy vincent says:

      She thought it was all about her, instead of just singing the National Anthem, she thought she was more important. She should have studied t he words first. Its not like she is not used to singing in front of crowds, what an idiot.

      • Jan Robinson says:

        I shudder to believe, but simply must, that these butcherings of traditional songs and hymns of any kind, much less this our National Anthem, is meant as a slap to convention, long held tradition, and a respect for the greatest culture ever to emerge from social darkness and economic oppression. Music is suffering a choking death from this kind of noise. Thank God for the oldies, moldy as they may be.

        • Jane says:

          “greatest culture ever to emerge from social darkness & economic depression?” ARE YOU SERIOUS???!!!
          Typical American. Might have went to school but doesn’t have a clue about any other country but your own. You guys need to start educating yourselves on other cultures. Oh I forgot- you are the only ones that matter.

          • Wow says:

            Wow, bitter much? Typical of many people living in our country today, who reap the benefits of residency here while spouting their hatred of everything “American”. The previous poster said nothing negative about another country or culture, they were simply showing pride in their country…
            Let’s see…either you are not an American but you are living here because it’s the BEST country to live in (even though you hate it here), or you ARE an American and are simply a bitter person who thinks you are better than everyone else…which is correct?

          • Christopher says:

            You are ridiculous. You dont like this amazing country then get the f*** out of it. Your not going to get special treatment cause your from another country or a different race. You live here obviously so either accept our traditions and pride or leave. That simple.

  6. Banan says:

    How embarrassing. The National Anthem is not a song that is to be re-arranged. It’s not American Idol – it’s the biggest freaking spectacle on TV. Maybe now she will disappear again

  7. João Amaral says:

    Im not even American, and I think that was bad.

  8. Amanda says:

    Poor Christina nothing. She should not have been chosen for this.

  9. AprilD says:

    Hey, no one will ever butcher the anthem like Macy Gray. But yes, I’m a little bummed for Xtina too.

  10. Christina says:

    I see “rehab” in her future.

  11. Jonathan says:

    She was amazing. Yeah she messed up, but people need to get off of their high horses and stop hating. What good does it do anyway?

    • unlfan81 says:

      Hating?? Um this is the most played song in the United States…it is played before every pro-sporting event. The woman should have been able to get the lyrics right if nothing else. Evan Rosanne knew all the lyrics.

  12. Downward Spiral says:

    First a bomb movie, divorce, weight gain, then messing up America’s most beloved song before the most beloved sporting event of the year. She needs to go into hiding.

  13. Moviefan2 says:

    Maybe instead of having these recording “stars” sing the National Anthem, they should have some group of kids who know the words.

    Stop letting them do their owns arrangments too!

    • Kelly says:

      Totally agree about groups of kids – there is a great video on Utube of four girls – Cactus Cuties – that sing the National Anthem leaps and bounds better than Xtina did.

  14. Marsha says:

    What a joke She is a disgrace. WOW I would. have chosen Jim Corneilson he knows the words and songs with respect for our. country’s anthem

  15. Lee Hung says:

    The Super Bowl is on Fox……So why weren’t they shamelessly promoting the winner of American Idol from last year? Cmon Fox – You missed the boat on that one……..

    • ThatBob says:

      Nobody remembers or cares about last year’s winner (just look at his… it was a guy, right?… album sales.)

      • Brenda Russell says:

        His name is Lee DeWyze and he has sung the NA twice and did a great job treating it with respect. His sales are not good but his CD is great and he wrote all but one song. There are rock ballads, upbeat songs, acoustic guitar songs and one jazz style song. Just like America- all interested when he was on Idol and now when he needs support by buying his cd instead of voting-where are these people? I saw him on the Idol tour and he was great and also interacted with fans after the show-signing autographs and posing for photos. What I really like is that he is very humble and VERY APPRECIATIVE of his fans. He is a class act and says he writes his songs for people to relate to in their own lives not for himself. He was supposed to sing the NA at the NFC game but the superstitious Chicago fans wanted that Jim guy who sings at Chicago Blackhawk games-you see what good that did-I hate that opera crap. Lee sang at halftime instead and did a great job. I am tired of rude, drug-addicted, alcoholic performers who wear crazy outfits to distract from their poor singing much of which has foul language. Classy, passionate performers who sing, play and write their own material are considered boring but they are the true artist. I would have much preferred to hear Lee’s NA instead of that mess sung by someone who appeared to be either intoxicated or heavily medicated. At the NFC chanpionship, MS. Martina McBride sang a beautiful NA stright up-no riffs or runs- guess what? She is one classy lady- I have seen her in concert.

    • Mooshki says:

      Forget, AI, why didn’t they have the kids from Glee?

      • forrest says:

        Glee was represented just before the National Anthem. America the Beautiful was sung by a Glee singer. At least I recognized that song compared to xtina.

  16. Cheryl says:

    I can think of someone who would’ve been perfect to sing the National Anthem and his initials are AFL :-) Heard him sing it a time or 2 and he was amazing! Just sayin’…………..

    • Maryse says:

      i do agree with u

    • Marian says:

      I agree about AFL.. I think he should make different videos singing the NA and they can be shown and played on the big screen before professional games. That would insure versions that are not only vocally beautiful and correct, but with all the words performed correctly and respectfully, true to Francis Scott Key.

    • ThatBob says:

      The last thing the Star Spangled Banner needs is that fat loser singing it while simulating sex with a background dancer.

      • kryssyess says:

        Yet you know who he is…

        • ThatBob says:

          Had to look up the initials to be sure, as it happens, although the delusional nature of the first post and follow ups just smelled of sparklecow. Fans of real stars don’t waste their time in lame attempts at promotion like that.

      • Teresa says:

        Hehe. As long as he sang it well. I think it might enliven the proceedings a bit.

        But on a serious note, I loved the way he sang it at the Miramar AFB. No runs at all, but a beautiful, very respectful rendition.

  17. Emmaline says:

    Maybe she would have remembered the lyrics if she hadn’t been focusing quite so much on showing off with all the extra flourishes. I’m all for a little embellishment on the long notes towards the end, but melismas on every whole note made the whole thing a hot mess.

    • Lynn says:

      (Whitney) Houston, we have a problem: melisma is soooo yesterday! Not to mention pretentious. Perhaps because of her anthem flubs and the subsequent media fallout, Christina actually did us all a favor by unintentionally but officially giving this tired, bombastic, over-the-top style of singing its long overdue retirement!

      • Ed says:

        We can only hope! Maybe it’ll be like Janet’s boob flopping out and now we’ll finally get some respectful versions as a result.

  18. Elizabeth says:

    There is a time to perform, and there is a time to be respectful. Sing it straight or don’t sing it at all. Unbelievable.

  19. clover0310 says:

    She was terrible. Sorry, if you can’t remember the words, record the song. The singers are given that option. Second, I don’t mind some changes in the melody line but she wasn’t even in the same key half the time. I realize the tune was originally a British drinking song but I’m thinking even the Brits of the early 1800’s could have sung this better after a few pints.

  20. godzilla_foil says:

    now, what the heck is a “melisma”….?

    • Allyson says:

      A melisma is a musical term defining a run of several notes over the course of one word or syllable. Basically holding the world ‘wave,’ and singing a whole bunch of notes before you stop the word.

    • recordsteve says:

      Thanks godzilla–I didn’t know either, but this blog thread was so amusing in a mean-spirited way I looked up melisma on google: a technique used in early spiritual and religious rites to induce a hypnotic trance in the listener. What my girlfriend says I look like when I watch sports on tv.

  21. sooth-sayer says:

    Throughout her youth in Pittsburgh, Aguilera sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” before Pittsburgh Penguins hockey, Pittsburgh Steelers football and Pittsburgh Pirates baseball games, including during the 1992 Stanley Cup Finals.

  22. Thom says:

    Why do we think the lyrics of a song equals national pride? Sorry, no, it doesn’t. It’s not insulting to the troops. Do they really care? No, they care about living and their families. Not an anthem. Ridiculous.

    • Amanda says:

      Do you know any soldiers? I do, and I know that they do care that people love their country enough to remember the words to the National Anthem. They’re at war, possibly giving their LIVES to protect a country that some people apparently don’t care that much about. Knowing the National Anthem doesn’t mean that you care, but if you DON’T know it, you can’t actually have that much respect for the country and what it stands for. Do you think that makes them feel like what they’re doing is worth it?

    • Anne says:

      Um, I’m a military spouse, and my husband does care about the National Anthem. In fact, most of his fellow soldiers do. It’s about the flag and the people they protect with their lives.

      Soldiers and their families are often the most patriotic people you will meet.

      • Elizabeth says:

        Anne, please tell your husband thank youfor all he does. And bless you and your family; military spouses rule. (My mother-in-law was one.)

      • Ebbie says:

        I agree with you, my husband is on deployment and everytime I hear the national anthem I feel a sense of pride. Most military families are very patriotic and for a singer to not remember the words on live television is disgusting and insulting. (just my thoughts)

        • Janell says:

          I agree as well, and all the darn screaming and hollering… what a terrible performance. Then she had the nerve to wave and smile at the end like she did a good job. I would be so ashamed.. as a matter of fact I am :(

    • Kelly says:

      My dad is a vet and he cares about the words of the song. He was willing to give his life for this country and for the freedom that this country provides all of us and the words do mean something and not taking the time to learn the words correctly is very disrespectful.

  23. Amanda says:

    Even if she had remembered the lyrics, it still would have been a terrible performance. I don’t understand peoples’ aversion to singing the National Anthem the way it was written. Your moment of stardom is not the same moment that we’re supposed to be showing respect for our country. When/if I hear a pop star sing the Star-Spangled Banner the way that it was intended to be sung, with no melody changing or extra embellishments, I will forever be a fan.

    This sounds like it was written by my father, but I’m actually a 23 year-old female college student, and I have always felt this way about the National Anthem.

  24. godzilla_foil says:

    Oh, just got the help of the good book (dictionary) and found out that’s exactly (the word in English for) what I hate the most about all these female singers of today, and American Idol. And the air-drawing finger that usually accompanies the feat.

  25. Angel says:

    Your overreacting gur, it wasn’t that bad.

    I have a new respect 4 Christina Aguilera she has the balls 2 sing live the NA in front of millions of people flub the lyrics & handled it like a pro.

  26. Emmit West says:

    I feel sorry for her. No one WANTS to flub up the national anthem… on television… on the biggest television event of the year. Poor girl.

  27. Anne says:

    And, it’s “the twilight’s last gleaming” (reflected light), not reaming! Yikes – a little melisma isn’t bad, but c’mon, every freakin’ vowel?

  28. Nicole T. says:

    Oh, that was just sad. It’s never a good sign when you cringe from beginning to end of a performance. And, there was just no redeeming it. That was a big old 10 on the Celeb Shame-O-Meter, my friends.

  29. Rae says:

    I agree with everyone who felt it was disrespectful to treat our national anthem like it was an Idol audition. In honor of our troops they should skip the divas and have a military choir sing.

  30. Dirk says:

    Not only is that super embarrassing, but more than that, it was just poorly performed. Why must everyone singing the national anthem have to drag along every syllable like they’re performing in the semi-final rounds on Idol? This isn’t your next single, Christina, so simplicity should be key.

  31. Andrew says:

    Was wishing they were just playing the Whitney version on tape the whole time listening to that mess. Terrible on many levels.

  32. Divva says:

    Well, I would have much preferred to hear Adam Lambert sing our national anthem, but at least Christina was NOT lipsynching as so many other performers are these days. Let’s give her a break, we’d be nervous, too!

  33. muspirit says:

    I had hoped she wouldn’t do her vocal theatrics but she did, and then to totally mess up the words..well, it was not good. Carrie Underwood was missed!

  34. bringbackroseanne says:

    wait – maybe they did

  35. Becca says:

    Why didn’t they just let Lea Michele sing the anthem? She did beautifully with her song. Xtina was just wrong with the whole thing!

  36. Brent says:

    There is all sorts of talk about Christina Aguilera messing up a couple of lines in the National Anthem, but the fact of the matter is that she screwed it up long before she got to the ramparts. If she hadn’t been so concerned about putting her ‘spin’ on it, maybe she would have remembered the words like a true professional singer should.

  37. me says:

    Singers of the National Anthem, and other songs during pre-game sporting events need to get through them as quickly as possible because the fans are there for the GAME not the singers nor the pre-game singing.

  38. katie says:

    I wish the famous singers would stop making the anthem about them. It’s not about you, just sing it with respect people. I didn’t even recognize what she sang as our anthem. Worst Super Bowl anthem effort… ever

  39. Jamie says:

    Forgetting the lyrics is forgivable….it can happen to anyone. But completely destroying the melody because you think your ability to run scales is more impressive?? That’s unforgivable. I’m getting really tired of singers who feel they have to add flourishes to the national anthem. The song is difficult enough to sing as it is. Just stick to the melody and sing it well!

  40. Don says:

    This is a total Outrage! Nothing this disrespectful has EVER happened on this most memorable night!
    I think something should be done about the guy that Pulled her outfit and exposed her nipple as well!!!

    Huh???…..

    Wrong Superbowl?…..Er Oops…
    Nevermind! ☺

  41. Xqzmoi says:

    For the record, Lea Michele also messed up her lyrics to “Oh, Beautiful”. She sang “For purple mountains majesty” instead of “For purple mountain majesties”

    • clover0310 says:

      Check the lyrics again Xqzmoi – The song is titled, “America the Beautiful,” and the correct words are “For purple mountain majesties.” Although many people make the mountain plural, it is singular and always has been since the author was inspired to write the poem after viewing Pike’s Peak.

    • ThatBob says:

      Um… the title is “America The Beautiful,” not “Oh, Beautiful.”

  42. Kaiulani says:

    Apparently someone in Vegas won 120k on a bet that she would mess up the lyrics. She needs to lay off the booze.

    • forrest says:

      ……so she was in on the bet right? Just think, we’re still talking about it so once again, there is no bad publicity as far as celebrities are concerned.

  43. Jodi says:

    And no one mentioned she was from Pittsburgh, either, thank goodness.

  44. Joanne says:

    How much do I Love this website!! And yes I didnt understand of the stuff coming out of her mouth. And Lea wasnt so great her self… But lets all agree the half time show was AWFUL I mean AWFUL!

    • Jan Robinson says:

      AWFUL! Although the element of effort gets a plus, the rest, all of it, right down to USHER diving in with that knee crotch spandex romper suit. We aren’t THAT SPACED OUT, at least not yet! Bring back Willie Nelson when Texas is the host state, at least we can sing along.

  45. Robin says:

    So she messed up and said Thank You….tacky. I think she was to busy worrying about the “show” and not enough on the “technical”

  46. Justin says:

    I thought she sounded great, as usual. So she messed up the words. Big deal.

    The halftime show on the other hand. I mean, visually it was nice, but Fergie is just awful live, and so is Usher. Black Eyed Peas are too old to be doing this, honestly. They’re the ones who should just retire, not Christina.

    • Caiman says:

      It absolutely is a big deal. We’re not talking about “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” here. It’s the American National Anthem, for crying out loud! Sing it right or don’t sing it at all.

      • Elizabeth says:

        Amen, Caiman!

        • Justin says:

          Still don’t think it’s that big of a deal. Should she have got the lyrics right? Yea. But she didn’t. Whatever. Move on. People make mistakes.

        • Miranda says:

          Got to say, I wouldn’t care in the least if Celine Dion messed up the Canadian National Anthem (I’m Canadian btw). But then again I’m not overly critical.

          That’s coming from a Canadian proud of her roots. So Christina messed up, get over it.

    • forrest says:

      as far as the Black Eye Peas, didn’t we just see this on New Year’s Eve? Different locale, more dancers, but the entrance was the same, pretty much the same montage. Not all that great from what I could tell.

  47. Trista says:

    It was bad – but on top of that, did anyone else think she looked like cyndi Lauper?

  48. Leah says:

    I wasn’t paying close attention to the words she was singing because I was too busy cringing over how badly she was overworking the vocals. I don’t know why many of these ‘artists’ have to force a the National Anthem when their singing skills would be best shown through doing it as intended. Even worse that she lost track of the lyrics.

  49. Anna says:

    What a shame! Sucks when celebrities sing a National Anthem and making it their own. Tsk tsk…

  50. Ioanna says:

    You are all nasty people! A bunch of haters who relish when others mess up.

    • fastpoose says:

      She absolutely slaughterd one of the best national anthems. We’re not haters we’re just telling the cold truth. It was DISGRACEFUL!!!

    • fastpoose says:

      She absolutely slaughterd one of the best national anthems. We’re not haters we’re just telling the cold truth. It was DISGRACEFUL!!!

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