Beyoncé Criticized For Using Challenger Disaster Audio in Song

The pop diva says the use of a sound recording from the 1986 tragedy was a tribute to the victims

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Pop star Beyoncé is under fire for using audio from the 1986 Challenger disaster in her new song “XO.”

The controversial audio clip is a recording of NASA’s public affairs officer, Steve Nesbitt, in the immediate aftermath of the disaster. As the song begins, Nesbitt can be heard saying: “Flight controllers here looking very carefully at the situation. Obviously a major malfunction.” The space shuttle Challenger exploded on Jan. 28, 1986 only 73 seconds after liftoff, killing seven crew members. Family members and friends were present, and the launch was filmed live on CNN.

Family members of the lost crew members quickly took offense to the audio usage. Dr. June Scobee Rodgers, the widow of Challenger Commander Dick Scobee, released a statement: “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.”

In a statement to ABC News, Beyoncé responded: “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.”

You can watch the “XO” music video here:

[ABC News]

14 comments
grevyturty
grevyturty

I wonder what part of the deaths of 7 highly educated white scientists and aeronautical engineers hit so close to home for the uneducated, historically illiterate "Beyonce"? Are there really people who believe she felt motivated to randomly pay tribute to them? Bizarre stupidity in our culture.

AlexSmith1
AlexSmith1

What an idiot. I think she's been smoking to much of what her husband used to sell. I'm sure her song was a tribute to the fallen lol. That's like Ted Nudgent saying Cat Scratch Fever was written to bring awareness to Breast Cancer lol. What an idiot move

Channah
Channah

If she has any feeling what-so-ever, she will take the song off the market and apologize to all those who lost loved ones on the Challenger.  I cannot understand how someone can be so stupid and cruel. 

Yoshi
Yoshi

Stupid is as stupid does.

brenro12
brenro12

Ignorant ghetto ho trying to sound artistic.

CarlLegg
CarlLegg

Pull the song. This is so insensitive.

BenIncaHutz
BenIncaHutz

She is a real class act. Her next album will have samples of the 911 calls from Sept 11th!

goblue562
goblue562

If she really had 'sincere intentions', then she'd yank the song.  Who is she or the songwriters to say what would help heal the families?  If they're upset, then there's no healing taking place.   Do what's right, Beyonce.  It's not like you need the money.

SMSinTX
SMSinTX

Of all the things to find offensive in today's music, this would be about dead last on my list.

grevyturty
grevyturty

@brenro12 You know she doesn't write one lyric or musical note herself. She's just basically an actress, acting like a pop star. No intelligence, no insight, just pathetic ignorant sickness.

taztalks
taztalks

@SMSinTX If someone used recorded audio in a commercial music project of your doctor announcing the death of one of your loved ones without your permission or endorsement, I am confident you would feel differently. But alas, you are not putting yourself in the shoes of those that might not even ever listen to all of the music you think is more offensive. THAT is what causes this to be more of a problem for them than you may ever know. For that, you should give daily thanks.