(AllHipHop News) Beyoncé is catching heat for including audio from the 1986 Challenger Space Shuttle disaster in her song “XO.” NASA astronauts and their families call the singer’s decision to sample NASA public affairs officer Steve Nesbitt voice on the track disappointing and insensitive.
“We were disappointed to learn that an audio clip from the day we lost our heroic Challenger crew was used in the song ‘XO’,” June Scobee Rodgers, widow of Challenger Commander Dick Scobee, told ABC News. “The moment included in this song is an emotionally difficult one for the Challenger families, colleagues and friends.”
“For the words to be used in the video is simply insensitive, at the very least,” added retired astronaut Clayton Anderson.
Other people affiliated with NASA have also expressed dismay at what they see is the use of a tragic event to sell music. Former NASA employee and founder of NASAWatch.com Keith Cowing is calling for Beyoncé to remove the audio from the song.
Beyoncé issued a statement to ABC News about the controversy:
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 Space Shuttle Challenger exploded moments after taking off from the Kennedy Space Center on January 28, 1986. The event was shown live on television and many schools screened the broadcast because Christa McAuliffe was set to become “the first teacher in space.” McAuliffe and the six other crew members all died from the explosion.
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Watch Beyoncé’s “XO” video featuring the Challenger audio sample below.