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Beyonce Criticized For Using Challenger Clip In New Song
Posted by Jeremy Thomas on 12.30.2013



Beyonce has been criticized by former NASA astronauts and their family members for using audio related to the 1986 Challenger explosion in her new song "XO." ABC News reports that the song kicks off with a clip of then-public affairs agent for NASA Steve Nesbitt saying "Flight controllers here looking very carefully at the situation. Obviously a major malfunction" as the explosion occurs. The Challenger shuttle blew up just after liftoff in 1986, killing all seven crew members on board.

June Scobee Rodgers, the widow of Challenger space shuttle commander Dick Scobee, told 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."

Also chiming in was former NASA employee Keith Cowing, who said, "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."

Beyonce is being asked by Cowing to remove the clip and apologize to families of the Challenger team. In addition, several current astronauts privately told ABC that they are not happy with the use of the clip; they are not authorized to speak publicly about the issue.

Beyonce issued a statement about the situation, saying, "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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