Beyonce Causes Controversy Over Using Challenger Disaster Audio in ‘XO’ Song


Beyonce responds to backlash

Beyonce is under fire after using audio taken just after the Challenger broke apart in 1986 in her music video for her new track “XO”.

The 32-year-old singer defended using the audio from the disaster, claiming her intention was to help “heal those who have lost loved ones”. Insensitive?

Her new music video for XO features a NASA official stating, “Flight controllers here looking very carefully at the situation. Obviously a major malfunction”.

The Challenger exploded 73 seconds after take off from the Kennedy Space Center Jan. 28, 1986. All seven crew members aboard were killed.

June Scobee Rodgers, the widow of Challenger Space Shuttle Commander Dick Scobee and a founder of the Challenger Center for Space Science Education, told ABC News she was not at all pleased.

June Scobee Rodgers issued at statement on NASA Watch, saying, “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. We have always chosen to focus not on how our loved ones were lost, but rather on how they lived and how their legacy lives on today.”

Keith Cowing, a former NASA employee who now runs the website, said, “This choice of historic and solemn audio is inappropriate in the extreme.”

Beyonce defended the use of the audio and issued a statement on the controversy.

She said, “My heart goes out to the families of those lost in the Challenger disaster. 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. The songwriters included the audio in tribute to the unselfish work of the Challenger crew with hope that they will never be forgotten.”

The video features the singer running through an amusement park with two friends. They laugh as they ride roller coasters together and meet strangers.

Beyonce has actually worked with NASA in the past. She recorded a wake-up announcement for the orbiting crew of the STS-135 shuttle flight.

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