Beyonce Knowles: Under Fire for Sampling NASA Challenger Recording
Musicians find their inspiration in all sorts of places, and Beyoncé Knowles was so affected by the NASA Challenger disaster from 1986 that she included audio from the tragedy in her new song “XO.”
Written and produced by Ryan Tedder and The-Dream, the track includes a portion of NASA public affairs Officer Steve Nesbitt’s remarks on January 28, 1986.
On the recording, Nesbitt states, "Flight controllers here looking very carefully at the situation. Obviously a major malfunction."
However, the widow of one of the astronauts killed on the Challenger is “disappointed” that Beyonce chose to use the audio. June Scobee Rodgers told press, "The moment included in this song is an emotionally difficult one for the Challenger families, colleagues, and friends," she
"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. For the words to be used in the video is simply insensitive, at the very least.”
In response, Knowles explained, "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."