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

Get More: Commentary

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 (214)

  • They should just play Whitney Houston’s recording every year and be done with it. Or have the guy who sings fot the Bears/Blackhawks.

    Comment by Annie – February 6, 2011 07:04 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m not relishing the fact she messed up; performing in front of millions of people takes guts and I commend her for agreeing to do it. I wanted her to do well; I think she has a gorgeous voice. But to mess up a song as sacred as the National Anthem — both in forgetting the lyrics (which is inexcusable) and over-singing, rearranging it to make it more dramatic — is just unacceptable. There should be innate respect when performing the Star Spangled Banner, and she didn’t show it tonight. That’s why there is so much criticism.

    Comment by Elizabeth – February 6, 2011 07:04 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • That was a response to Ionna’s comment. Smart phone is not smart.

      Comment by Elizabeth – February 6, 2011 07:30 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Agreed with @Elizabeth.

        Comment by prosatya – February 7, 2011 01:37 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • @prosatya Happy to see you on this site.

          Comment by Verma – February 7, 2011 01:39 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Agreed, Elizabth. I’m appalled. Christina is used to singing in front of millions of people, as she does this for a living. Messing up the National Anthem is just plain disrespectful, ungrateful to the country in which she earned her wealth, and the ultimate lazy. She can’t even be bothered to know the words. And our National Anthem isn’t a stage to show off her vocal calisthenics – its meant to honor the country, not her. She should make the piece heartfelt and not an “anthem” to her own vocal prowess.

      Comment by Kay – February 7, 2011 11:53 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • She’s been singing the national anthem since she was 7 years old at local events. She sang the anthem at the NBA Championships last year and did such a good job, the Lakers wanted her back to do it again the next night, and they won!

        She’s human. She made a mistake. I know the words to the anthem frontwards and backwards, that doesn’t mean I’m not going to flub them a little when I’m singing them under pressure. She’s HUMAN, not lazy or trying to disrespect America.

        I was more offended by Fergie’s horrible voice than Christina’s honest-to-goodness MISTAKE.

        Comment by Rasha – February 7, 2011 12:10 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • BUT, She’s a professional singer…no room for mistakes and no room for making it sound horrible with her vocal theatrics either.

          Comment by muspirit – February 7, 2011 12:24 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • I understand that she’s not in the position to make mistakes, but it happens–that’s the best and worst part about live TV. That’s why I wish she would have pre-recorded it, because it’s such a huge honor and anything could go wrong. But I’m not going to act like she was drunk or impaired because the performance wasn’t good. Just like I’m not going to hold it against Big Ben and the Steelers for playing like crap.

            Comment by Rasha – February 7, 2011 02:28 PM PDT  
  • Terrible. I protected Xtina on several occasions in the past and she treated everyone around her like crap. She got what she had coming in my humble opinion. GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!

    Comment by Raymond Michael – February 6, 2011 07:05 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Why are people saying “Poor Christina?” She does this for a living…she learns lyrics and sings them…that’s her job, it’s not difficult! How the hell did she mess this up????

    Comment by Melissa – February 6, 2011 07:29 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • EGO Melissa…EGO.

      Comment by Raymond Michael – February 6, 2011 07:44 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The National Anthem isn’t “sacred.” It’s important, yes. It’s honorable. It’s respectable. It’s prestigious. It’s patriotic and it’s American. But it is NOT sacred. That belongs to God alone. Not a song.

    Comment by Katie – February 6, 2011 08:13 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • What makes what she did any worse than destroying and/or desecrating the American flag???

      Comment by Tabla Rasa – February 8, 2011 12:41 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • can ppl plz stop talking about this already

    Comment by Bill Ulsh – February 6, 2011 08:13 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I didn’t even notice that Christina messed up.

    Comment by Jacqi – February 6, 2011 08:17 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Ofcourse you didn’t…

      Comment by Raymond Michael – February 6, 2011 08:25 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Ofcourse you didn’t Jacqi…

      Comment by Raymond Michael – February 6, 2011 08:25 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • if only Jeff Buckley could have lived to have sung the national anthem at the super bowl

    Comment by Chris – February 6, 2011 08:41 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • It did make my chest ache alot when I heard what she did I quickly smiled when she started getting fancy with the words tho she really does know how to make the sell, she was still amazing in my book, lets not forget things have been ruff lately going through divorce and her so called second pregnancy they I keep hearing about. As a Singer myself I know how it must feel to have messed up I felt like crap on stage there’s no telling how she felt in front of the nation, but she did seem oddly calm, I kinda think it had to do with a time thing, she skipped a verse which I’ve had to do occasionly, cut babygurl some slack she’s still amazing <3

    Comment by trey webb – February 6, 2011 08:42 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • And I was rolling my eyes when I heard Lea Michelle was also singing a song. I expected her to be all diva-ish, but her America the Beautiful was much less embellished and much more appropriate than Xtina’s self-aggrandizing national anthem.

    Comment by Alice – February 6, 2011 08:50 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Hey Michael’s friend, I’m Canadian and English is not my first language and I know the lyrics to that song.

    Comment by Gen of Montreal – February 6, 2011 08:56 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • So do the Barenaked Ladies, Celine Dion, Shania Twain, K.D. Lang, Alanis Morissette, and Joni Mitchell. All whom have sung the American National Anthem and all from Canada, eh?

      Comment by Tabla Rasa – February 8, 2011 12:47 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • While I did think her melismas were over the top, I feel bad for her. As a vocalist who has “forgotten” the lyrics while singing the national anthem in public, I feel her pain. Fortunately, my flung was only in front of about 1000 people, not millions.

    Comment by yma – February 6, 2011 09:01 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • well then….you are a stupid ass also

      Comment by Charlie Raynor – February 7, 2011 07:30 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • If Britney performs well at the up coming Grammys then we truly are in Bizarro World.

    Comment by dee123 – February 6, 2011 09:06 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Kris Allen sang our NA at the ProBowl in Hawaii was AWESOME last week. Hope Kris Allen gets to sing SuperBowl 2012, just sayin’.

    Comment by Reality – February 6, 2011 09:49 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • She didn’t actually, physically, sin nearly as bad as the black eyed peas, that was painful

    Comment by Sonja shumake – February 6, 2011 10:05 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Sry meant sing not sin, stupid iPhone

      Comment by Sonja – February 6, 2011 10:06 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • All of the music was a big fail. Fergie singing “Sweet Child of Mine” might be enough to bring Guns N Roses back together for a reunion tour. The problem is that people CHEER. Stop cheering when it’s awful. Let the Superbowl committee know how bad you hate it by NOT cheering (not like they care… they just made millions and millions off of ticket sales). Those seats were ridiculously expensive and to be given such a poor musical display for that kind of money?? I’d be BOOOING my head off.

      Comment by Tabla Rasa – February 8, 2011 12:53 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I couldn’t believe it when I heard her start with the wrong verse! Then to see our troops and the looks on their faces, made it even worse.
    I’m also a singer, not a professional one and yes I have messed up lyrics before, but I’m not being paid and singing in front of 1000′s of people at a Super Bowl. She’s been singing all her life and that should have been a “piece of cake” for her. In addition to her messing up the words, she was “murdering” the National Anthem. It sounded awful, she was off key, screaming the lyrics and basically looked like she was performing it, in a way that she was the center of attention, not the song. JUST BAD ALL AROUND!

    Comment by Linda – February 6, 2011 10:10 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • It’s obvious it’s about the game and not the music or the cliched aerobics class style choreography. Surely the nation deserves something fresher there. Still, it was marginally better than Xtina’s failed attempt at writing a melody. All flash and trash – bring back some real talent please – the entertainment was about 10 percent of what we see on Glee, so next year get some professionals in. And hire sound people with a backup plan, okay?

    Comment by Jay – February 6, 2011 10:10 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • It was just a few years ago that Jose Feliciano’s career took a nose dive because he stylized the National Anthem. We need to apologize to him big time after hearing tonight’s rendition. It’s our National Anthem, sing it right or go home.

    Comment by Belle Slay – February 6, 2011 10:29 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Wrong lyrics, melisma overdose, screws up the high note on “free” — BLONDE SNOOKI MEGAFAIL!!!

    Comment by Rob J. – February 6, 2011 11:01 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I would like ta see all ya’ll get up there in front of thousands and sing like she did, I and thousands thought and have said she did really good, ya’ll need ta find smethng else ta do than hate on a STAR!

    Comment by Valarie – February 6, 2011 11:03 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • You have the intelligence of an elephants fart.

      Comment by Charlie Raynor – February 7, 2011 07:31 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • It’s the fact thats shes beutifullll and sexy,and can belt like no other,shes one of a kind,no1 can do what shes done shes truely talented in all she does! Just because you cant have or be her It wont change the fact she some~bdy whos made it this far!! “)

        Comment by valerie – February 13, 2011 12:01 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • okay… I’ll do it. I’ll sing it standing on my head for that kind of money & recognition. I’ll sing it clean and with an clear understanding of the words too. No problem. I’ll even throw in the Canadian national anthem in as a freebie.

      Christina is good at what she does with her own music. The National Anthem is obviously to tough a song for her. I can tell you she’ll not getting called back to sing in ANYWHERE ever again. To think that national Anthem singing for the Pittsburgh Steelers is where she started. That is just a song that you don’t forget or go out unprepared or insecure about.

      Comment by Tabla Rasa – February 8, 2011 01:00 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Well at least we didn’t have to suffer, say, that Mariah bitch. lol

    Comment by nonW00t – February 6, 2011 11:15 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Well I would just like to say i just got out of the Marine Corps last month and I cant say that I was hurt or outraged or anything by the fact that she messed up the lyrics.Yes in the military we take pride in our country but thats what we do everyday! We dont need someone singing the national anthem to make us feel better about being Americans…we do it everyday! Yes we respect the flag and love our country and everything about it but wouldnt hound someone for a mistake. I look at it as I know if I was in front of millions of people I would have messed it up too. I know she is a professional singer and has done this numerous times but thats the great thing about being human we all make mistakes. I thought she did a good job and I love her voice! I think she handled it professionally and continued with the song. I am sure she feels bad but ya cant change it now.

    Comment by Laycie – February 6, 2011 11:16 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Well as a former Marine from a family of Marines, I know exactly how I’d be hounded for a mistake. Maybe she can just drop and give us 50.

      Comment by Tabla Rasa – February 8, 2011 01:05 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I don’t follow any sports and I didn’t watch the Superbowl, so I didn’t see her goof. I’m Canadian, so I don’t even know the words to the National Anthem, but if I were, I would have looked them up in advance and memorize them.

    That’s what most people do for the songs they sing, pros or not. ;)

    Comment by robinepowell – February 6, 2011 11:32 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • It was as bad as rosanne barr singing it for baseball years ago. But at least she admitted she could’nt sing.

    Comment by david binkley – February 6, 2011 11:41 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • So what who gives a shit. She can sing and she’s still going to stay rich bithces!

    Comment by Qwana atlanta – February 7, 2011 12:46 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • disrespectful! schristina should learn that everything z not about her! What a pity, her next album wil flop again!

    Comment by t.tagu – February 7, 2011 01:00 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • she is just a sex addict. no one should buy christina aguilera from now on

    Comment by iulian – February 7, 2011 01:34 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I´m not from the US, so obviously don´t have the strong emotions for the words, the flag, the troops or what have you.
    But I DO think it´s a beautiful song, but not the way Aguilera oversang it.
    She butchered it.
    And what the hell was that primal scream at the end?
    Possible answer:
    She screamed in agony over a dying career….

    Comment by Peter L – February 7, 2011 02:02 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Poor girl my foot!!! No excuse to mess up. If she was really so honored, she would have got it correct. The honor is in the song and what it stands for. Not because, Oh they wanted MEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!

    Comment by H.karen – February 7, 2011 04:01 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The current generation’s singers are crap, as is everything about the current generation. Bring on the next generation already, maybe they can be a little more creative and original.

    Comment by notacow – February 7, 2011 04:37 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • If you call that singing! She justed screamed, that’s NOT singing. Anyone could scream. Who picks these singers? What happened with respect for the Anthem?? God Bless America.

    Comment by Irene – February 7, 2011 06:08 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The half time show was just as bad as the screamer (singer?) singing the Anthem. Who arranges these shows. Where did you find these people? They are NOT singers or performers.

    Comment by Irene – February 7, 2011 06:18 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • In the words of Randy Jackson “yo dawg, for me, for you, it just wasn’t working, it was a bit pitchy. I think you got lost a bit in it, yeah didn’t work for me”.

    Look, clearly she is having a hard time since kicking her “straght dancer” husband. (Ever notice how that was how he was always referred to). She has publicly been carried out of places and started arguments with other celebrities while intoxicated. I was concerned as soon as they announced she was singing. She needs to take time to get cleaned up before she is another Mariah Carey/Whitney Houston mess.

    Comment by Sabrina – February 7, 2011 06:36 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I didn’t notice, but then I’m Canadian. My manager’s American, though, and she didn’t notice. It was better than the half time performance.

    Comment by Miranda – February 7, 2011 06:41 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • It seems that these days, people take license to warble their way through songs that were meant to just be sung. It is irritating to see songs mangled by “artistic expression” in feeble attempts to show off one’s vocal range.

    Hint: “It’s The Song That We’re Listening To,….Not You!”

    In the end, it sounded like someone killing a cat on the stage.

    Comment by RealNeil – February 7, 2011 06:48 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I agree with the many who said the artist should just sing the National Anthem as it is written. Be a class act and don’t mess up in front of 100 Million people.

    Sorry Christina/Xtina – you were just handed your third strike!

    Comment by Debbie – February 7, 2011 07:47 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I think Christina should feel worse for wearing those shoes with that outfit! The whole outfit was respectable and then POW bedazzled shoes; blech! In regards to the song, she should’ve practiced but maybe she’s been too busy with her new boytoy and drinking it up Lindsay-style!

    Comment by Missy – February 7, 2011 07:53 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • What a difference a week makes. Last week at the Pro Bowl, Kris Allen delivered an excellent rendition of the National Anthem. Then this week we get Christina at the Super Bowl. What a let down!

    Comment by DookDood – February 7, 2011 08:04 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I always have and continue to root for Christina because, at her best, she is an INCREDIBLE live vocalist and talented singer. No, last night wasn’t her best at all. As Slezak pointed out, “(I can’t help but die inside because) Here’s a recording artist with the actual ability to sing live.” That is way more than most in the industry can say these days. While last night certainly leaves a mark, I continue to support her.

    Comment by Marta – February 7, 2011 08:22 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I apologize if this has already been said, because I skipped to the bottom here after reading some of the repetitious outrages here, but if you haven’t already, Youtube “Musiq Soulchild forgets words to national anthem”. He is a very talented artist, but at an NBA game, he completely blanked after “through the perilous fight” I think. It was the only thing I’ve ever seen worse than Christina last night. I totally agree with the appalling nature of her lyrical blunder, and her vain attempt to show off her talents during a tribunal and patriotic presentation like the Star-Spangled Banner. I’m a grown man, and I shed tears EVERY time I hear our anthem, but last night I was mortified. You’re all absolutely right. We all know you can sing Christina… you don’t have to wail out every note and crucify the song.

    Comment by J. Ripoli – February 7, 2011 08:48 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I love Christina, but this would have been a terrible performance even without her “reaming” (hehe) the lyrics. Girl, you can sing. Just sing the song. Nobody but you wants to hear the 6483920348 runs you added to the song!

    Comment by NanCeE* – February 7, 2011 09:25 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Its just a song people, and shes only human. Who cares if she messed up the words. Not like its the end of the world.

    Comment by James – February 7, 2011 09:30 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Thank God it’s not the end of the World and that was the last thing we heard before we all died.

      Comment by Tabla Rasa – February 8, 2011 01:09 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Oh, it was an honest mistake. She was singing LIVE for a crowd of what? 90-100 million? There are worse things in the world, people should just get over it.

    Comment by Manuel – February 7, 2011 09:44 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The problem is, it’s not just any song she messed up. First of all it wasn’t the first time she’s been asked to do this. Second of all, we have thousands of men and women risking their lives for our banner, and the Super Bowl is the grandest of all stages to perform. The whole song lasts about a full minute, and she’s been a professional for years now. Believe me, I’m not losing sleep over it. I’m just saying that it was a horrible rendition whether she messed up the words or not, and she should be ashamed of herself. I’m telling you though, go on Youtube and check out Musiq Soulchild’s mess up. It’s even worse.

    Comment by J. Ripoli – February 7, 2011 09:51 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • It’s our National Anthem, not a top 40 song. She should be so embarrassed that she doesn’t show her face again for months.

    She should try writing out the real words a few thousands times before she tries to sing it again.

    Comment by Janet B – February 7, 2011 11:06 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I don’t think it was a simple mistake in memorization. I think it was just a slip and the moment got the best of her.

      Comment by ErixN – February 7, 2011 11:28 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • It was bad, but I will remain a Christina fan. She just had a bad day/performance. I think it just shows she’s human. I do not think she meant it in disrespect.

    Comment by ErixN – February 7, 2011 11:27 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I love Christina and I feel bad that she made a mistake, but it happens. She had the balls to sing live in front of 100 million people, and I admire her for that. Although now I’m sure she wishes she pre-recorded it.

    I think it’s absolutely ludicrous for this to become a big deal or for people to think she needs to go to rehab because she made a mistake during a very public moment. She’s human and probably really nervous.

    Comment by Kira J – February 7, 2011 11:42 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I just cannot stomach these renditions of our National Anthem. Please do not offer the so called celebrities the opportunity to deface our nation.

    Comment by chuck – February 7, 2011 12:03 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Christina’s rendition was way too slow, completely self-indulgent, and so drawn out that it was like a parody –something you’d see on the Simpsons. Just sing the damn song and go back to your seat. (and be professional ie remember the words.)

    Comment by Tim White – February 7, 2011 01:15 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Aguilera has been going through a rough time over the past month so I am cutting her some slack. She has a great voice. (Ask Tony Bennett who did “Duets” with her). I do agree, however, that she was way over “stylized” last night.

    Perhaps Xtina (and others) should Google “Whitney Houston national anthem” and play Houston’s 1991 national anthem sung at the Super Bowl at the start of Desert Storm. It was SO phenomenal, it was being sold as a stand alone video! The best ever. Check it out!
    Betcha can’t watch without crying…

    Comment by Suncatcher – February 7, 2011 02:09 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

Leave a Reply

Comments on TVLine.com are monitored. So don't go off topic, don't frakkin' curse, and be gone with your offers of discount leather goods. Talk smart about TV!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s