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A US TV audience of 100m - and Aguilera fluffs her lines

Christina Aguilera sang the national anthem at the Super Bowl last night. Except, she didn’t. Or not all of it, anyway.

Christina Aguilera singing the US national anthem at the Super Bowl in Dallas last night.
Christina Aguilera singing the US national anthem at the Super Bowl in Dallas last night.
Image: David J. Phillip/AP

SHE MAY have won five Grammy awards, and sold 35 million records around the world, but that doesn’t necessarily mean Christina Aguilera knows the words to every song in her repertoire.

The 30-year-old singer last night took charge of the pre-match formalities at Super Bowl XLV, charged with singing the United States’ National Anthem ahead of the coin toss and kick off between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Green Bay Packers.

But, less than halfway through The Star Spangled Banner in Dallas last night, Aguilera got the words wrong. Instead of singing, “o’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming”, she instead repeated an earlier line:

What so proudly we watched at the twilight’s last reaming.

Even that repeated line – which is ordinarily the anthem’s second line – was botched; the original line reads, ‘what so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming‘.

The botched line is about 52 seconds into the following video:


While it is difficult to suggest an accurate worldwide TV audience for the gaffe, the game itself is usually watched by the year’s biggest US TV audience – with last year’s game pulling in an all-time record of over 106 million viewers.

Adding in the global interest in American Football’s flagship event, the worldwide audience would easily reach into the hundreds of millions – and perhaps billions – so Aguilera’s mistake will have been spotted by a countless number of people around the world.

Regardless, however, Aguilera’s performance was better received than that of Macy Gray in 2001, who the Boston Globe reports was booed off after singing the anthem at the Pro Bowl in 2001.

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About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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