Beyoncé Knowles in her new music video for the song 'XO' from her self-entitled album. Photo Credit: Beyoncé on YouTube

Beyoncé Being Slammed for Use of Challenger Audio in Her New Song ‘XO’

When Beyoncé released her new self-entitled album on December 13th, which she refers to as a visual album as every track has an accompanying music video, the album shot to number one almost immediately. However, it would appear that not everyone is a fan of the singer’s latest effort. She is currently being slammed by former NASA Astronauts and their families for her use of a piece of audio from the Challenger disaster.

The 6 second clip which is in the very beginning of the song is a clip from former NASA Public Affairs Officer Steve Nesbitt as he addressed the Challenger disaster.

Flight controllers here looking very carefully at the situation. Obviously a major malfunction.” He says.

Now, this piece of audio does not directly reflect on any particular astronaut, or even to the specific incident itself; however, to those closest to the situation, it is a painful reminder of the past, and its use has been deemed insensitive.

In a statement released by, Dr. June Scobee Rodgers, the widow of the Challenger 51L Commander Dick Scobee, she expressed her disappointment in the use of the clip.

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.”

Retired NASA astronaut Clayton Anderson told ABC News how he felt about the situation as well.

For the words to be used in the video is simply insensitive, at the very least.”

In an article posted to the site, Keith Cowling, who is an astrobiologist as well as the editor of the site, took the previous sentiment a bit further.

This choice of historic and solemn audio is inappropriate in the extreme. The choice is little different than taking Walter [Chronkite's] words to viewers announcing the death of President Kennedy or 911 calls from the World Trade Center attack and using them for shock value in a pop tune.”

Here is a look at Beyoncé’s video for the song ‘XO’.


Now that you have had a chance to hear the song, and the use of the clip for yourself, what is your opinion on the matter? Do you think that Beyoncé owes an apology to the people affected, or do you think this is being made into a bigger issue than it really is? Let us know what you think.

Tags: Beyonce Hip Hop Music RB XO