Beyonce says the use of audio related to a doomed U.S. Space Shuttle mission was meant to honor, not disrespect, those who died in the 1986 tragedy.
The singer began catching heat in recent days as news spread that one of her songs included a sound snippet connected to the Space Shuttle Challenger which exploded 73 seconds after liftoff in 1986. The song in question, XO, uses sound from a flight controller addressing the explosion shortly after it occurred.
Family members say the use of the audio in Beyonce’s song about a troubled relationship cheapens the crew’s sacrifice and reopens old wounds. Beyonce has said the song was written and produced by Ryan Tedder and Terius Nash.
Beyonce sent a prepared statement to ABC News regarding the imbroglio:
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.