Beyonce is being criticized for including audio at the beginning of “XO” which is taken from the Challenger space shuttle explosion. Beyonce’s self-titled visual album took the world by storm in recent weeks, as the new mother showed off her curves and her voice throughout the LP. While the BeyHive fans were definitely pleased by the project, which has gone on to receive platinum certification from the RIAA, NASA is displeased with Bey because of a soundbite included in her “XO” record. “XO” opens with NASA public affairs officer Steve Nesbitt announcing that there is a major malfunction with the Challenger. The NASA Challenger Space Shuttle exploding within 72 seconds of takeoff in 1986. The tragedy resulted in the death of seven crew members.
Now NASA employees have called out Beyonce for including the short clip, expressing their disappointment in her choice of sample. The widow of the Challenger Space Shuttle Commander Dick Scobee, June Scobee Rodgers, stated to ABC, “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.” A former NASA employee, Keith Cowing (who now runs NASAwatch.com) also slammed Beyonce for her decision, comparing it to using audio from 9/11. He’s requested Beyonce remove the audio from the track. “This choice of historic and solemn audio is inappropriate in the extreme. The choice is little different than taking Walter Cronkite’s words to viewers announcing the death of President Kennedy or 911 calls from the World Trade Center attack and using them for shock value in a pop tune,” Cowing said.
Beyonce has since responded to ABC in a statement. Read her statement below and watch the “XO” video. Was the soundbite inappropriate? “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.” ..
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