Christina Aguilera screwed up the lyrics to the Star-Spangled Banner in front of more people than anyone ever had screwed up the anthem in front of before at the Super Bowl in 2011. And she took a beating for it.
But we don’t think that’s fair. For one thing, her mistake (“what so proudly we watched, at the twilight’s last reaming”) wasn’t nearly as bad as, say, trying to sell pizza with billboards of Hitler. Plus, her screw up wasn’t even close to the worst we’ve heard over the years in far more laugh-inducing, ear-plugging, terrorist-pleasing renditions.
Don’t take our word for it. Watch — and listen — for yourself.
In 1993 nine-time Olympic track and field gold medalist Carl Lewis nearly had to sprint out of the Brendan Byrne Arena in New Jersey after “singing” the anthem before a Nets-Bulls game.
Way back when, Cuba Gooding Sr. was the lead singer for a group called The Main Ingredient, but most people know him as the father of the Jr. who starred in Boat Trip, Snow Dogs, and Radio. Well, in 2008 Sr. embarrassed the family even more than those films when he sang at the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association hoops tourney.
Ten years before he became an American Idol judge, Steven Tyler was asked to sing the anthem at the Indianapolis 500. After introducing the song with the traditional bluesy harmonica solo, he angered veterans by altering the final lyric in the song.
Roseanne Barr was one of the most famous comedians in the universe when she unwisely decided to make a joke of the national anthem at a 1990 San Diego Padres game.