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Beyonce Criticized for Using Audio From Challenger Tragedy in Song 'XO' [VIDEO]

Jan 04, 2014 10:35 AM EST
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Beyonce's use of audio from the 1986 Challenger disaster in her song "XO" has earned her the wrath of not only the families of those who died in the explosion, but NASA as whole, which responded with a condemnation of the use of historical audio.

"The Challenger accident is an important part of our history, a tragic reminder that space exploration is risky and should never be trivialized," NASA said in a statement obtained by The Hollywood Reporter. "NASA works every day to honor the legacy of our fallen astronauts as we carry out our mission to reach for new heights and explore the universe."

Beyonce responded to blacklash in a statement released to ABC saying she never meant to make light of the tragedy in her song.

"My heart goes out to the families of those lost in the Challenger disaster," she said. "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."

Challenger's disintegration over the Atlantic Ocean on Jan. 28, 1986 took place less than two minutes after launch. It resulted in the death of seven crew members and a 32-month hiatus in the shuttle program. Those who died included Michael J. Smith, Dick Scobee, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Christa McAuliffe, Gregory Jarvis and Judith Resnik.

"We were disappointed to learn that an audio clip from the day we lost our heroic Challenger crew was used in the song 'XO,'" said June Scobee Rodgers, widow of Commander Scobee, said in a statement. "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."

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