Beyoncé under fire for Challenger disaster audio clip in song

Beyoncé under fire for Challenger disaster audio clip in song

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Back (L-R) Ellison S. Onizuka, Christa McAuliffe, Greg Jarvis and Judy Resnik. Front (L-R) Mike Smith, Scobee, and Ron McNair. (NASA photo) Back (L-R) Ellison S. Onizuka, Christa McAuliffe, Greg Jarvis and Judy Resnik. Front (L-R) Mike Smith, Scobee, and Ron McNair. (NASA photo)
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Just when it seemed Beyoncé could do no wrong she has come under fire for using an audio clip from the space shuttle Challenger disaster in a song on her new album. The audio clip comes at the beginning of her track "XO" and is a recording of a NASA public affairs officer reacting after the explosion of the shuttle: "Flight controllers here looking very carefully at the situation. Obviously a major malfunction."

The song's video, which was actually shot in Brooklyn, shows Beyoncé and friends running through the amusement park in Coney Island having fun. And that has people close to those who died in the Challenger explosion fuming. One former NASA employee called the use of the audio "inappropriate to the extreme."

NASA released a statement saying that space exploration is risky and should never be trivialized.

June Scobee, the widow of Commander Dick Scobee (one of the seven crew members killed in the Challenger explosion) said: "We were disappointed to learn that an audio clip from the day we lost our heroic Challenger crew was used in the song 'XO.' The moment included in this song is an emotionally difficult one for the Challenger families, colleagues and friends."

Beyoncé has now issued a response to the criticism, saying in part: "The song 'XO' was recorded with the sincerest intention to help heal those who have lost loved ones and to remind us that unexpected things happen, so love and appreciate every minute that you have with those who mean the most to you." She also said the songwriters included the audio in tribute to the unselfish work of the Challenger crew with hope that they will never be forgotten.

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