Beyoncé’s latest track has landed the singer in hot water after it was revealed she sampled audio from a radio broadcast moments after the ill-fated space shuttle Challenger exploded killing all on board.
The move has been labelled “inappropriate to the extreme” and “insensitive” by the families and colleagues of the NASA crewmembers who died in the disaster.
They are now demanding the song be taken down, ABC US reported.
“Flight controllers here looking very carefully at the situation. Obviously a malfunction,” now-retired NASA public affairs officer Steve Nesbitt’s voice rang out on January 28, 1986.
His comments were broadcast over live television and provided a chilling backdrop as the nation watched the wreckage plummet from the sky after exploding 73 seconds into its journey.
Twenty-seven year later, Nesbitt’s voice is heard again at the beginning of Beyoncé’s new song “XO” about a troubled relationship.
In a statement today, Beyoncé apologised but made no mention of removing the clip from the internet.
“My heart goes out to the families of those lost in the Challenger disaster,” the statement said.
“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.”
But June Scobee Rodgers, the widow of Challenger commander Dick Scobee, was not impressed.
“We were disappointed to learn that an audio clip from the day we lost our heroic Challenger crew was used in the song ‘XO,'” she said.
“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.”
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