Cyndi Lauper flubs a line of 'The Star-Spangled Banner' at U.S. Open


Image Credit: Matt Slocum/AP Images

It seems that tricky old “Star-Spangled Banner” has gotten the best of yet another pop star.

Before the semifinal match between Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki at the U.S. Open in New York City on Saturday, Cyndi Lauper sang the National Anthem, but the ’80s pop icon made a noticeable mistake during her rendition.(Paging Christina Aguilera!) Instead of the line, “O’er the ramparts we watch’d were so gallantly streaming” Lauper belted out, “O’er the ramparts, we watched as our flag was still streaming.” Listen below:

It seems Lauper wasn’t taking any artistic liberties with the song — she was just nervous and emotional, given the National Anthem came directly after a moment of silence for those lost in the September 11, 2001 attacks. Lauper, who wore a dress with an image of the Statue of Liberty on it, tweeted, “Whew, I just did the anthem for the US open. It was an awesome experience.I got choked up in the middle remembering 9/11.” Later, she also wrote, “I hope I didn’t mess up too bad. I wanted it to be comforting.” (EW reached out to Lauper’s rep, who was not immediately available for comment.)

As far as National Anthem flubs go, this one was hardly the worst. (That title, as the Internet will be happy to tell you, belongs to the Eli Young Band who got booed before their mess-up at a Chiefs game in 2010.) Besides the line fail, Lauper sang the song just fine, and kudos to her for not getting tripped up and stopping — and re-starting — the song entirely.

What do you think, Music Mixers, is Cyndi Lauper messing up the National Anthem one of the worst famous singer offenders, or not so bad in comparison to, say Aguilera’s or Eli Young Band’s? Share in the comments section below!

Read more:
Christina Aguilera’s ‘Star-Spangled’ flub: It’s time to forgive
Anita Baker drops the ball singing national anthem at NBA finals
Carrie Underwood’s Super Bowl ‘National Anthem': Touchdown!

Comments (37 total) Add your comment
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  • Bobby’s Robot

    Anything Cyndi Lauper sings is good, even with a flub.

    • Mary

      Please forgive me. I am Canadian,but of course I watch primarily American stations. I also, of course, have heard the Star Bangled Banner and O Canada many many times. I think Cyndi did excellent. Almost everyone screws up the anthem except kids at school…lol…its the pressure. Especially after the 9/11 events, I am sure there was a lot of emotion there. She put her heart in it, made the save and ended beautifully.

      • Mary

        OH OH. Now before you all call me all those really insulting blog names I KNOW. SPANGLED. Please forgive my flub

  • jenna

    I saw it live, and I cringed when she messed up. But, she did recover nicely and gave a very heartfelt performance. It wasn’t about the pipes, but about the message, and reverence. So, she’s forgiven. :)

  • Julie

    Poeple make mistakes, so I don’t relaly think it’s all the bad. What IS bad is when they add all the runs, etc. to the song and it in no way resembles the original. It’s a National Anthem and hsould be sung well, but with respect.

    And, by the way, the words aren’t hard to sing; the song is vocally challenging because of hte range you have to be able to sing.

    • k flynn

      Very true regarding being vocally challenging due to the song’s range.

  • RyRyNYC

    Umm, if I remember correctly Aguilera kept on with the song without missing beat after her flub… or was I watching something completely different from EW. Yes she messed up on a couple of words, but she finished the song, didn’t go flat or crack her voice as many other singers have at the Superbowl singing the anthem. I still don’t consider her flub the worst anthem rendition ever…

    • FreeOrNow

      I’m guessing I’m hardly the only one who stopped reading your reply after the word, “Umm.”

      • n

        And yet you took the time to comment?

  • matt

    I loved it. And the mistake wasn’t really that bad, and the line she sang instead of the correct lyrics works just as well (at least for me). It was a really emotional night and performance, and she can’t really do wrong in my eyes.

  • Templar

    OK Don’t crucify me, but I’ve always wished they’d change the National Anthem to America the Beautiful. It’s more descriptive, easier to sing and much more melodic than the Star Spangled Banner. Cyndi has nothing to worry about. Things happen.

    • Ben

      I totally agree with you Templar. It’s not the singers, it’s the song. America the Beautiful Is a better song than the Star-Spangled Banner. We should change our national anthem from the Star-Spangled Banner to America the Beautiful. Almost Nobody makes a mistake singing America the Beautiful and it Is a Much Better song.

    • Lorrie

      I’ve always preferred America the Beautiful.

  • jackson

    she has such emotion when she sings. I dont think the flub was a big deal at all, just what and how she sang it.

  • The Real Slim K

    Yes, the flag was still streaming online. That’s what she meant. So the terrorits didn’t win. Because of the internet thing. Girls still want to have fun, without veils, too. Take THAT, Osama bin Deaden.

  • worst – ahhhh no

    The biggest flub was..”That title, as the Internet will be happy to tell you, belongs to the Eli Young Band who got booed”? Uhm how about…but Rosanne Barr’s 1990 offkey crotch grabbing folllowed by a spit version? That drew a “few” (the whole stadium) boos. Google/Youtube it.

  • Mincha

    I’m convinced this just comes with the territory. She wasn’t the worst–not even close.

  • Steve-O

    Slow news day today?

  • Ben

    I prefer America the Beautiful to the War of 1812 inspired Star Spangled Banner. The Star Spangeled Banner is nowhere near as good a song as America the Beautiful and Countless people have messed up the national anthem. It’s not the singer, it’s song. America the Beautiful is a better song, and when was the last time you heard anyone have a mistake trying to sing it? Probably never. We should have America the Beautiful as our national anthem.

  • GalacticCannibal

    Hey people our N.A. is a song about violence …bombs etc..It should be changed to a pleasant song ….like America ..from sea to shinning sea. If we can change ( corrupt) “The Pledge of Allegiance” we can change our violent N.A.

    • John Galt

      Honestly, it should be changed to something even more violent and imperialist like “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.”

      • Steve-O

        Ha. Love it. So true.

  • Tory

    The difference between this flub and XTina’s is that Cyndi was singing the song correctly and not adding all those vocal gymnastics. When someone showboats and then makes a mistake, they just open the door for criticism – they cared more about showing off than singing the song right.

  • Cindy

    Just after i heard she flub the national anthem I was watching a episode of the Simpson where there was a Cyndi Lauper look a like singing the the national anthem . Ironic( if you were wondering it’s on youtube)

    • Ben

      Actually, this is not at all ironic. I think the word you are looking for is ‘coincidental.’

    • Colin

      That wasn’t a look-a-like on The Simpsons, that was actually Cyndi. Well, her voice, that is. That was from 1997.

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