NASA has slammed the singer for using audio from the 1986 Challenger space shuttle disaster in her song “XO,” which has nothing to do with the disaster, or space flight.
But Beyonce, in typical fashion, is making lemonade out of lemons. She claims the audio was added as a tribute to the astronauts.
Hard to argue with that, except the song has nothing to do with space flight, astronauts or the Challenger explosion itself. Rather, it’s a dark, moody love song.
What’s more, the video for the song is set in a theme park. Beyonce is pictured riding bumper cars deliriously and laughing on a roller coaster.
The song lifts from NASA commentary by public affairs officer Steve Nesbitt immediately after the explosion. “Flight controllers here looking very carefully at the situation. Obviously a major malfunction,” the NASA official can be heard saying.
Beyonce did not obtain permission to use the recording.
Seven astronauts died, including the first teacher in space, Christa McAuliffe. The shuttle disintegrated just 73 seconds after launch, while McAuliffe’s parents watched helplessly from a viewing stand.
Beyonce said she only used the sound with “the sincerest intention” and said it was meant to be a tribute “to help heal those who have lost loved ones.”
But retired NASA astronaut Clayton Anderson led critics, including the space agency. “For the words to be used in the video is simply insensitive, at the very least,” he told ABC News.
June Scobee Rodgers, widow of Challenger commander Dick Scobee, also said she was disappointed.
“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,” she said.
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