Beyonce is taking some criticism this week for her song “XO”, off her newly-released self-titled album, because of an audio sample used in the beginning.
The sample is taken from a statement made by former NASA public affairs officer Steve Nesbitt just after the horrific explosion of the space shuttle Challenger in 1986. “Flight controllers here looking very carefully at the situation. Obviously a major malfunction,” he says in the clip. The song, which was written by Ryan Tedder and Terius Nash, is about a doomed relationship.
“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,” Beyonce said in a statement. “The songwriters included the audio in tribute to the unselfish work of the Challenger crew with hope that they will never be forgotten.”
The decision to include the audio clip is troublesome to many, including June Scobee Rodgers, the widow of Challenger Space Shuttle Commander Dick Scobee and a founder of the Challenger Center for Space Science Education.
“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.”
The video for “XO” was shot at Coney Island in August, and the singer said she didn’t want it to look “perfect”.
“If it was my choice, I would never have a permit. I would just get in the car, get a camera, and we’d just shoot, and trust me, we tried,” she said. “I’m trying to rebel against perfection. It’s fun because you never know what’s going to happen.”
The singer hasn’t announced any plans to take the clip out of the song.
Image via YouTube