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Should Beyonce Have Sampled Challenger Disaster in Her New Album?

What do you think? Tell us in the comments.

Credit: BeyonceVEVO
Credit: BeyonceVEVO
Originally posted at 9:08 p.m. Updated with video of XO.

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A song on Beyoncé's latest album has upset families of the victims of the 1986 Challenger shuttle disaster.

Christa (Corrigan) McAuliffe, a Marian High and Framingham State graduate, died in the shuttle disaster. A charter school and a library branch is named in her honor in Framingham.

The love song XO opens with a six-second audio sample that originally was broadcast in the immediate aftermath of the Jan. 28, 1986 explosion.

"Flight controllers here looking very carefully at the situation. Obviously a major malfunction," now-retired NASA public affairs officer Steve Nesbitt said back in 1986.

Beyonce, in an exclusive statement to ABC News this morning, said, "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."

Former and current NASA astronauts, employees and Challenger family members argue that using it in a pop song mocks the crew's sacrifice and opens fresh wounds.

Former NASA employee Keith Cowing expressed dismay. He told Rolling Stone: "This choice of historic and solemn audio is inappropriate in the extreme," he said. "The choice is little different than taking Walter Cronkite'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."

*** What do you think? Tell us in the comments.


Ramuel M. Raagas December 31, 2013 at 03:57 AM
This swipe at an American performing artist is a distressing bunch of noise. Once again, Rolling Stone poses its atheist contrivance of supposed morality, continuous with its wrongful honoring of czarnaive on its front cover. Our country, the United States of America, simply has to compete, even in lunar space and the space beyond. Einstein was an American immigrant who worked (not whined) on the general theory of relativity, which led to understanding of how astronomical bodies behave, whether it be pulsars or quasars. We the Framingham community should already prepare and plan a centennial presentation of his general theory now going into the next few years as our satellite library is scheduled to transfer along the geodesic that is Water Street to Nobscot. Without getting into his tensor and hard Ricci and Riemann math, we can glean that heavenly bodies do not behave as pettily as network television newscasters, who never help American schoolchildren beat foreign kids in standardized tests, which do not even require Einsteinian notations of covariance and contravariance, but simply.... simple products such as Newtonian Force from mass and acceleration or Power from Current and Potential Difference or the latter from current and resistance. Standardized science international tests require only simpler math that even liberal arts majors can take up. Such tests do not quiz youths on complicated equation sequences such as the Hamiltonian. C. Julian Chen's text of solar physics is not required reading for standardized international youth tests. China is claiming lunar space. They are putting their foot down that they own a stairway to our natural satellite. I do own a few Made in USA clothes, but the cold weather has me scrambling for my Made in China warm clothes. I did buy a Made in USA sweater sold in Wayland, but we Americans just need to manufacture and build even more clothes, cookware and space shuttles.
Amy Schwartzberg December 31, 2013 at 08:44 AM
I found the video of the Challenger more upsetting than the voice of the NASA gentleman speaking. I was watching the news, instead of just showing Beyonce's video they also showed the Challenger exploding. That I would think would be far more painful for the family than 6 seconds of a calm voice.
Jan December 31, 2013 at 01:47 PM
Many younger people weren't even thought of yet when it happened. If the sound clip gives them the least bit of curiosity, maybe they'll want to find out more about it. They've probably HEARD of it, but know very little of the event. It could create an astronaut or an engineer. That's my take on it.
Nugent Sharp II December 31, 2013 at 06:05 PM
I will say it, its offensive and should be dropped. Sing something else and donate the profits from the sale(100%) to the family's of the astronauts.
Douglas Cummings December 31, 2013 at 07:38 PM
I find the idea of it very offensive to the family's of the astronauts who passed on that day. Out of respect for them, I think it should be disallowed.
Billy December 31, 2013 at 10:37 PM
Girl is trying to reach the pinnacle of show biz. She craves all publicity good or bad. Unfortunately this is a display of tacky.
Stacie Rosen December 31, 2013 at 11:04 PM
Guess what...people are talking about the Challenger ....thus remembering that day...thus educating the ones that weren't even born when it happened...thus keeping the memory of the crew alive. The song hasn't even hit the radio if ever... As soon as the media finds another witch hunt to be a part of and/or contrive this will be old and forgotten news.
Charles Schwartz January 01, 2014 at 10:53 AM
NO NO NO NO NO
Arthur Schwartz January 01, 2014 at 11:09 AM
To much attention is focused on these so called "celebrities" and what they do or don't do. Here is yet another non-story by the lame-stream media that should not have even made the news.
Ann M Halvorson January 01, 2014 at 12:34 PM
What is not being considered by the media is that the age group she works best with were born considerably AFTER 1986. And if it isn't illegal, then just shut up, seriously!
Ken Schramm January 01, 2014 at 08:59 PM
she should have asked permission from the families of the victims first.only decent thing to do.
jackie miller January 01, 2014 at 11:41 PM
It is just plain WRONG!
Gary Scott January 02, 2014 at 06:03 AM
What about the superimposing of herself over Jesus in DaVinci's Last Supper painting? http://assets.nydailynews.com/polopoly_fs/1.1562303.1388508560!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_635/beyonce1f-3-web.jpg
Rene Knox January 02, 2014 at 08:05 AM
Oh please!! Get over yourselves most of you don't even listen to her music and probably have not heard the song. No Big Deal!! Go one Lady Bey!!!
Myles Wallace January 02, 2014 at 09:19 AM
Very, very, very insensitive!
Michele January 02, 2014 at 12:47 PM
TOTALLY HIDEOUS! More proof that the music industry thinks they are above common sense and will stop at nothing to sell a banal love song. My heart goes out to Challenger's surviving family members who hear this song.

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