NIT – Pop-icon Beyonce has gotten the attention of NASA and angered the families of astronauts lost on the space shuttle Challenger after her newly-released song ‘XO’ sampled audio from the explosion of that spacecraft.
With no notice, Beyonce released her fifth album “Beyonce” exclusively on iTunes on December 12th – her first since 2011’s “4”.
The 10th song on the album “XO” begins with the voice of a NASA official saying “Flight controllers here looking very carefully at the situation. Obviously, a major malfunction” as the Challenger exploded off the coast of Florida, killing all those on board.
The backlash against the use of the audio has begun to pick up steam in recent days, with NASA and others leveling criticism at the previously squeaky-clean pop diva.
“The Challenger accident is an important part of our history; a tragic reminder that space exploration is risky and should never be trivialized,” NASA said in a statement Tuesday. “NASA works every day to honor the legacy of our fallen astronauts as we carry out our mission to reach for new heights and explore the universe.”
Dr. June Scobee Rodgers, the widow of Challenger Commander Dick Scobee, also released a statement, saying “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.”
Beyonce has now attempted to defend herself, saying in a statement this week that “The songwriters included the audio in tribute to the unselfish work of the Challenger crew with hope that they will never be forgotten.”