Top 10 Worst National Anthem Performances Ever


2011’s Superbowl – Superbowl XLV – gave us a harsh reminder of just how bad a national anthem performance can be. Thank you Christina Aguilera.  Sure, it’s a difficult song to sing.  And, yes, it has a lot of words to remember.  But it is the National Anthem and it is on the biggest stage in the world. Take the time to rehears, practice and get it right.  Here are the Top 10 Worst National Anthem performances.

10. Christina Aguilera – XLV Superbowl

Wow, this is almost unbelievable. But aside from frogetting the lyrics she also change the song. It was hardly recognizable. Long self-indulgent runs?  Check.  Forgetting lyrics?  Check and check.

Here are some of my favorite YouTube comments:

“I’m German – and I know the words better than she does.” – jimixdnb
“Dumbass.” – javeav
“That isn’t Christina Aguilera, that’s Cyndi Lauper.” – Deundertow

9. Michael Bolton – 2003 ALCS @ Fenway

The echo is terrible, but that’s the sound person’s fault, not Michael Bolton‘s.  Still, he does forget the words, but at least he had the foresight to write them on his hand.  Good thing his hands weren’t sweaty.

Favorite YouTube comments:

“lol at the guard cracking up.”  josiahVEVO
“i celebrate the man’s entire catalog.” – Ej205scoob

8. Josh Groban and Flea – BCS Championship Game

He might not be your cup of tea, but Groban has a good voice.  HOWEVER, paired with Flea and an entire band in the background, this performance came off as disjointed, disturbing, and confusing.  Cool pyrotechnics, though.

Favorite YouTube comments:

“gotta love that music brings together any kind of genres…flea and opera boy…love it!” – MsEmployeeoftheMonth
“I think they should of kept it to JG and Flea.  That high school special ed band was terrible.” – nastynewt420
“My ears hate me for listening to this.” – snorkel23fan

7. Steven Tyler – Indianapolis 500

Steven Tyler of Aerosmith (and most recently, American Idol) has a great screamy kind of voice.  Is it suited for the national anthem?  Maybe not.  He does change the words up, and even before he does that he flubs them a little as well.

Let’s see what the YouTubers had to say.

“Steven sounded like his great self!  WTF are people talking about…who cares if a word or two was changed.” – Lindugh
well, a lot of people actually care if the words are changed…
“I would’ve been okay with it had “Indianapolis 500″ fit, but it didn’t, so minus 1 man point for Steven Tyler, although he already has 1,204,582 man points.”
Make that 1,204,581, actually…

6. Scott Stapp – Ford 400

Not everyone is a Creed fan.  Even if you are a Creed fan, I don’t know how you could think this performance is good.  Stapp did perform later events and did better, but this one is pretty bad.

What some YouTubers had to say.

“He sounds like he’s constipated.” – ernest alba
“This is pretty bad…not that anyone watches nascar anyway.” – T Egnoto89

5.  Kat Deluna – 2008 Dallas Cowboys Game

Who has heard of Kat Deluna?  Not I, said me.  However, research shows that this flub of the national anthem did damage to her career.  Shame.

Over to YouTube:

“Kat Deluna is liking her video under 194 screen names.” – Yaotao
“I like this video for pitiness.” – genieofmusic

4. Hockey Girl – Somewhere in Ontario

Why are they even singing the American national anthem at a Canadian hockey game?  Anyway, this girl completely forgets the words, forgets them again, goes back to get a printout of the words, and falls on her face on the way back.  Epic fail.

Best of Youtube:

“She came back because she forgot to fall down.” – chiczken55
“Play her off – keyboard cat!” – toozinho

3.  Roseanne Barr – Jack Murphy Stadium 1990

I simply didn’t see the sense in posting the entire sad video.  Barr caught a lot of flack for this.  She said she wasn’t trying to be disrespectful – she started off on the wrong key and tried to make the most of it.  It didn’t work out too well for her.

Youtube comments:

“at least she got all the words right.” – lavygirl1
“well, that was really quite bad.” – caflagel

2.  Carl Lewis – 1993

The guy’s a runner, not a singer, right?  Turns out singing wasn’t some hidden talent.  Nor was lyric memorization.  Zounds.

YouTube comments:

“haha this is why I love youtube so much hahaha.” – katnvyvd
“uh OH.” – Blackmilitant421
“um, no he didn’t.” – cliffFLIPINobozeman

1.  Chattanooga – Event Unknown

Sheesh.  Did this guy lose a bet?  There is nothing good about this performance, unless you count the amount of spectators fighting to keep a straight face.  I feel bad for the guy, but it’s such a bad performance it rates the number one spot.

YouTube comments:

“for the rabbits we washed?” – gasmylife
“did I hear something like “bleeding butt crack?  i think my ears are starting to bleed.” – kazehana877
“Carl Winslow at his best.” – 1MrBlanki

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  1. EVER?! Ever? The top ten worst performances ever? The song has been the national anthem since the 1930s (and was around for a long time before that) and somehow all of your choices are from the last 23 years. Either that is a stunning coincidence or (much more likely) your selection committee is made up largely of children.

    • Hard to get choices from before there was video of people singing the national anthem. But your complaint has made us feel sufficiently bad. You have done well this day. Be proud!

  2. I found a list time made-“Top ten worst renditions of the national anthem”,and found out,this will make you cry,that the event in Chatanooga was a memorial to Chatanooga police officers who died on the job.Oh,I also found out that Kat Deluna sung “I will always love you”.Well,apparently she didn’t love the Star-Spangled Banner.

  3. Ever? The worst EVER? They’re all within the last 22 years. The song (well, the lyrics) was written 198 years ago. Either there’s an incredible coincidence at work here, or your selection committee is comprised entirely of children.

  4. If you want the anthem sung a particular way at your event then don’t hire people like Rosanne, Steven Tyler, Creed, a random pop star, an unknown cop ect. Steven Tyler was singing in his own fashion. So was Josh Groban.. By the way he was great. . I didn’t even pay attention to Flea bussing around his performance. It should have been obvious Flea would also add his own music to the mix. Rosanne is a comedian! I think they set her up. She was seen as controverial at the time. What did they expect? Rosanne Clooney? They knew what to expect. Look at the Genre of music. What you choose is what you get. The National Anthem is not going to suit every style and meet all peoples expectations! Fines for the artist? That is absurd.. Get real people.

  5. Who picks these idiots. This is our National Anthem. It should be sung with dignity and grace. Not up and down the vocal scale the entire song. Leanne Rimes comes to mind of a job well done. Don’t ad to it. Sing as it was meant to be sung. If you have a good voice,that’s all you need. Take some pride when you have the privlidge to sing this Anthem.

  6. Yes if you are going to sing the National Anthem you should “rehearse”! You should also proofread your comments before posting! LOL

  7. Peter Boucher on

    I do not recall the boxing match that was being held, but didn’t Robert Goulet forget the words to the National Anthem at that particular event ??

  8. That somewhere in Ontario is actually in Quebec, and was a game between Canada and the US. Please do at least a tiny bit of research

  9. This is why everyone hates america… superbowl biggest sporting event in the world BOLLUCKS

    • everyone does not hate America just themedia makes it out that way everything wrong in the world is the media’s fault

  10. While I like this list, the youtoube comments are fairly weak compared to what I’m sure you could find on there.

  11. Roseanne Barr’s to me is the very worst ever.

    She didn’t even attempt to sing it, she went out there deliberately trying to be shocking or something, screeching the words.

  12. The ‘hockey’ girl was singing the US anthem because it was during a game between Canada and the US. What kind of research did you put into this list?

  13. People, calm down about Josh Groban. It’s not his singing that was bad, it was him being paired with Flea and some random backing band that made it bad.

  14. How could they forget the horrible performance by Macy Gray? She flubbed the words and sounded terrible and was booed out of the stadium IN HER HOMETOWN! Ever wonder what happened to her? Her career never survived this!

  15. Josh Groban one of the worst? Where have you been? Three days ago he was one of the best! You people are really funny. And it’s sad that anyone would have the gall to try and rate a performance of a Country’s Anthem. After all this isn’t AI – and let’s not even start on that. There are good performances of it and some really awful ones, but it would seem that whoever is singing would recognize the importance of the song and treat it as equally important – and Miss Aguilera – that would mean knowing the words of this song as well as the words of the less than important songs that put food on your table.

    Sad, sad, sad – but Josh Groban is one of the few that actually can sing the song. In anyone’s book that should be worth the best review there is.

    • I agree how can you put Josh Groban as the worst ? it makes no sense. He sang it will and did not forget the words.

  16. I was in the next room, having no interest in the Super Bowl, when this came on. I never, ever would have guessed this was the National Anthem which represents our country all over the world.. Forgetting the words, by a professional, although not understandable to me is forgivable, but the way this sounded was truly horrible. Christina did a real injustice to this song.

  17. You are OUT of your mind to EVER put Josh Groban on a worst list. I don’t even think you can be reasoned with, so I won’t bother.