Beyoncé is apologizing after including audio from the space shuttle Challenger disaster that killed seven people in her new song “XO,” about a troubled relationship.
The audio clip of now-retired NASA public affairs officer Steve Nesbitt commentating as the shuttle was seen breaking apart on live television
runs for six seconds in the beginning of the song. Listen below:
But families of Challenger victims are not happy with the song.
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 is “disappointed” in the singer’s decision to include the clip, adding “The moment included in this song is an emotionally difficult one for the Challenger families, colleagues and friends.”
Retired NASA astronaut Clayton Anderson also told ABC, “For the words to be used in the video is simply insensitive, at the very least.”
Keith Cowing, a former NASA employee who now runs the NASAWatch.com website, said, “This choice of historic and solemn audio is inappropriate in the extreme.”
Beyoncé has responded by issuing the below apology (via ABC News):
“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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