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Beyoncé Explains Use of NASA Challenger Disaster Audio in "XO" Song

Beyonce James Devaney/WireImage

Not everyone is a fan of Beyoncé's new music.

Her new song "XO" features an audio clip from the NASA Challenger explosion which claimed seven American lives in 1986. Some individuals close to the situation called Bey "insensitive" for sampling audio from the tragedy, but the singer herself responded Dec. 30, telling ABC News the controversial clip was included "in tribute to the unselfish work of the Challenger crew with hope that they will never be forgotten."

When Challenger exploded and footage of the wreckage falling to the ocean was broadcast on live TV, NASA public affairs officer Steve Nesbitt told viewers, "Flight controllers here looking very carefully at the situation" and that "Obviously a major malfunction had occurred." Nearly 28 years later, Nesbitt's voice is heard at the beginning of "XO," something one NASA employee told ABC News was "inappropriate in the extreme."

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But the song, written by Ryan Tedder and The Dream, wasn't meant to be disrespectful, Beyoncé explained. "My heart goes out to the families of those lost in the Challenger disaster," she told ABC News. "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," she added.

This isn't the first time Bey and NASA have crossed paths. In 2011, she recorded a wake-up greeting for the Atlantis crew in outer space, telling the astronauts, "You inspire all of us to dare to live our dreams, to know that we're smart enough and strong enough to achieve them."

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