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. Annie says:

    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.

  2. Elizabeth says:

    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.

    • Elizabeth says:

      That was a response to Ionna’s comment. Smart phone is not smart.

    • Kay says:

      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.

      • Rasha says:

        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.

        • muspirit says:

          BUT, She’s a professional singer…no room for mistakes and no room for making it sound horrible with her vocal theatrics either.

          • Rasha says:

            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.

  3. Raymond Michael says:

    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!!!

  4. Melissa says:

    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????

  5. Katie says:

    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.

  6. Bill Ulsh says:

    can ppl plz stop talking about this already

  7. Jacqi says:

    I didn’t even notice that Christina messed up.

  8. Chris says:

    if only Jeff Buckley could have lived to have sung the national anthem at the super bowl

  9. trey webb says:

    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

  10. Alice says:

    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.

  11. Gen of Montreal says:

    Hey Michael’s friend, I’m Canadian and English is not my first language and I know the lyrics to that song.

    • Tabla Rasa says:

      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?

  12. yma says:

    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.

  13. dee123 says:

    If Britney performs well at the up coming Grammys then we truly are in Bizarro World.

  14. Reality says:

    Kris Allen sang our NA at the ProBowl in Hawaii was AWESOME last week. Hope Kris Allen gets to sing SuperBowl 2012, just sayin’.

  15. Sonja shumake says:

    She didn’t actually, physically, sin nearly as bad as the black eyed peas, that was painful

    • Sonja says:

      Sry meant sing not sin, stupid iPhone

    • Tabla Rasa says:

      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.

  16. Linda says:

    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!

  17. Jay says:

    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?

  18. Belle Slay says:

    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.

  19. Rob J. says:

    Wrong lyrics, melisma overdose, screws up the high note on “free” — BLONDE SNOOKI MEGAFAIL!!!

  20. Valarie says:

    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!

    • Charlie Raynor says:

      You have the intelligence of an elephants fart.

      • valerie says:

        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!! “)

    • Tabla Rasa says:

      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.

  21. nonW00t says:

    Well at least we didn’t have to suffer, say, that Mariah bitch. lol

  22. Laycie says:

    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.

    • Tabla Rasa says:

      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.

  23. robinepowell says:

    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. ;)

  24. david binkley says:

    It was as bad as rosanne barr singing it for baseball years ago. But at least she admitted she could’nt sing.

  25. Qwana atlanta says:

    So what who gives a shit. She can sing and she’s still going to stay rich bithces!

  26. t.tagu says:

    disrespectful! schristina should learn that everything z not about her! What a pity, her next album wil flop again!

  27. iulian says:

    she is just a sex addict. no one should buy christina aguilera from now on

  28. Peter L says:

    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….

  29. H.karen says:

    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!!!!

  30. notacow says:

    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.

  31. Irene says:

    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.

  32. Irene says:

    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.

  33. Sabrina says:

    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.

  34. Miranda says:

    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.

  35. RealNeil says:

    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.

  36. Debbie says:

    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!

  37. Missy says:

    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!

  38. DookDood says:

    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!

  39. Marta says:

    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.

  40. J. Ripoli says:

    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.

  41. NanCeE* says:

    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!

  42. James says:

    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.

  43. Manuel says:

    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.

  44. J. Ripoli says:

    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.

  45. Janet B says:

    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.

  46. ErixN says:

    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.

  47. Kira J says:

    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.

  48. chuck says:

    I just cannot stomach these renditions of our National Anthem. Please do not offer the so called celebrities the opportunity to deface our nation.

  49. Tim White says:

    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.)

  50. Suncatcher says:

    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…

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