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Beyonce criticized by NASA for using clip from the Challenger explosion

In her new song "XO," Beyonce used an audio clip of a NASA official announcing that Challenger had exploded. NASA astronauts and family members are upset and believe the use of the audio clip was disrespectful. On January 28, 1986, Challenger exploded just after liftoff from the Kennedy Space Center. All seven astronauts aboard were killed. Beyonce responded with a statement on Dec. 31, 2013.

Beyonce criticized by NASA for using clip from the Challenger explosion.
Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

"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 song was written and produced by Ryan Tedder and Terius Nash. At the beginning of "XO" a NASA official is heard saying, "Flight controllers here looking very carefully at the situation. Obviously a major malfunction had occurred."

NASA says, "The Challenger accident is an important part of our history; a tragic reminder that space exploration is risky and should never be trivialized. NASA works everyday to honor the legacy of our fallen astronauts as we carry out our mission to reach for new heights and explore the universe."

"If this was done with full knowledge of the origin of these words then this is simply repugnant. If this was done without due diligence as to the source of the words being sampled, then this is ignorance. Either way Beyoncé owes the families of the crew of Challenger an apology."

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