Beyonce Apologises For Challenger Disaster Sample, But Sorry Isn't Good Enough For Some

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Beyoncé released her fifth, self-titled album without warning at the beginning of December, resulting in a mad flurry of excitement from fans and media outlets alike as her release methods were heralded as groundbreaking and the actual content on the album marked as some of her best. With such little time to scrutinise and analyse the new release thoroughly, plenty of its content went under the radar, including some of the album's more unsavoury moments.

Beyonce B+W
Beyoncé has been called her best album to date, but beneath all the sexual references and odes to motherhood there is a darker side to the album

The singer has been labelled "insensitive" by certain members (current and former) of NASA and their families for a sample she used on the track 'XO.' At the start of the song, which is about a struggling relationship, Bey uses a sample of now-retired NASA public affairs officer Steve Nesbitt's voice - the man who narrated the launch for television audiences at home.

"Flight controllers here looking very carefully at the situation. Obviously a major malfunction," Nesbitt told the horrified viewers watching at home as the Challenger Space Shuttle exploded into flames and fell towards the ocean. The Challenger exploded just 73 seconds after take off from the Kennedy Space Center on 28 January, 1986, with each of the seven crew members on board dying inside the wreckage. Almost thirty years later, six seconds of Nesbitt's voice reemerged out of context and the singer has been forced to explain herself and the use of the sample.

"My heart goes out to the families of those lost in the Challenger disaster," Beyoncé told ABC News on Monday, 30 Dec. morning. Her apologetic statement continued: "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."

Watch the video for Beyoncé's 'XO'

Next Page: Why sorry isn't good enough for those still affected by the space disaster

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