Beyonce offers explanation for ‘sampling’ audio from the 1986 Challenger disaster


I’ve finally succumbed to Beyonce’s new album. Not the whole thing… at least not yet. But “XO” has become my workout jam and I’m really enjoying it. So, of course I’ve noticed that at the very beginning of the track, there’s a short little audio clip of what sounds like NASA control talking to a space shuttle. Turns out, that’s exactly what it is –it’s an archival audio clip from… the Challenger disaster from 1986. Yeah. So, that’s in poor taste and now everyone is piling on Beyonce and she had to issue an explanation about it:

One of Beyonce’s new songs has struck the wrong chord with family of the victims of the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. The pop star’s new song, “XO,” opens with a six-second audio sample that originally was broadcast in the immediate aftermath of the Jan. 28, 1986 explosion that took the lives of all seven crewmembers on board.

“Flight controllers here looking very carefully at the situation. Obviously a major malfunction,” then-NASA public affairs officer Steve Nesbitt can be heard saying before the synthesizer hook kicks in on the love song.

But not everyone listening to the tune from Beyonce’s recently released self-titled album is the mood to dance.

June Scobee Rodgers, the widow of Dick Scobee, the shuttle commander on the ill-fated STS-51-L mission, said she was “disappointed” to hear of Beyonce’s use of the clip.

“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,” she told ABC News.

Beyonce moved quickly Monday to defuse a major public relations malfunction.

“My heart goes out to the families of those lost in the Challenger disaster,” Beyonce said in a statement to 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.”

Challenger exploded just 73 seconds after launch from Kennedy Space Center — caused when an O-ring seal failed on one of the shuttle’s boosters, causing it to break partially free from the external fuel tank, and to the eventual break up of the craft in flight.

Astronauts Scobee, Michael J. Smith, Ronald E. McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Gregory Jarvis and Judith Resnik and Christa McAuliffe, who would have been the first teacher in space, died in a calamity that horrified the nation watching the launch on television.

“The Challenger accident is an important part of our history; a tragic reminder that space exploration is risky and should never be trivialized,” a NASA spokeswoman said in a statement to the Daily News.

[From The NY Daily News]

Do you buy Beyonce’s explanation? It’s not even a half-hearted apology, which bugs me. She didn’t say “I’m sorry, that’s inappropriate, my bad.” I actually wonder if she even realized that the audio clip was from the Challenger disaster before NASA issued their statement. You know, it could have been some producer’s choice and Beyonce was like, “That’s tight, that sounds good.” Because “XO” is just a sweet love song, it’s not really about grief or loss or anything, so using the Challenger audio makes no sense.

Incidentally, Beyonce did give an interview where she discussed how she put together this album – go here if you’d like to read her kiss her own ass.


Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet, Instagram.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

176 Responses to “Beyonce offers explanation for ‘sampling’ audio from the 1986 Challenger disaster”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. UghInsomnia says:

    Totally inappropriate. She may not have known where the sample came from beforehand, but she should have. Research your samples.

    Sidenote- I actually went to an elementary school named after the Challenger right after it happened, and it had murals of the shuttle and those who lost their lives painted on the halls inside. Overwhelming for a small child.

    • BooBooLaRue says:

      Sigh, I was a bit older and driving to school when I heard it on the radio. It still makes me weep. Beyoncé is just ignorant and uneducated.

      • Kate says:

        me and my co workers were huddled around a television when the accident happened. those poor family members were watching and the news kept showing some of their reactions. she should remove the sample from the sing. I think that would be the appropriate thing to do.

      • Lucinda says:

        I remember when it happened and it makes me sick to my stomach that she used that clip at the beginning of a love song. There is no excuse. I don’t usually like to jump all over celebrities when they use poor judgement because what’s a big deal to one person may not be to another. But since I remember this incident very clearly, it isn’t even close to okay. To not outright apologize shows her true character.

    • swack says:

      I taught high school at the time and we all had the news on in the room right after it happened. It hit home to all of us because a teacher was on board this flight.

      • Dana m says:

        I was in 3rd grade Texas school and the teacher brought in the TV for us to see the shuttle lift off into space. We saw the terrible tragedy. My teacher was in tears. All us 3rd graders were in shock. Beyonce’s decision to use the clip was is poor taste. Very inappropriate. I hope she finds it in her heart to actually apologize to the victim’s families at some point.

      • Luca26 says:

        I was in the 4th grade in NY state when this happened and our whole school had followed the progress of the Challenger because one of the astronauts was a teacher. There was an assembly to watch the launch.
        A person in advertising once told me that The Challenger is one of those markers used to define our generation because the kids who watched it happen in school were shown the powerlessness of authority figures in a startling way.

        For Shame Beyoncé.

      • janie says:

        It’s very inappropriate.. I agree, do your research. I don’t know anyone who thinks this is okay, poor choice.

      • Holly Hobby says:

        I was in my freshman year of high school when this happened. I still remember what I was doing so many years afterwards. I was getting ready to take my finals and was watching the news before I left the house. So horrible.

        Re Beyoncé. What do you expect from someone who barely got an education? Does not surprise me at all she did this. She’s probably wondering what the big deal is. I never liked her and I don’t care if she can sing. She comes off as an airhead and the House of Dereon has to most hideous clothes. My gag reflect comes out every time I walk by their section at Macys.

    • Liberty says:

      Beyonce is from Houston, TX, and NASA would not be out of her realm, nor would people somehow involved with this tragedy. So this underlines the idiocy or arrogance of using this audio. The lack of apology shows the rest.

      • Ktx says:

        I have to disagree with you somewhat. While I do think that the use of this audio is inappropriate and that she should offer an apology, I also have to say that being from Houston has nothing to do with it. I’m from Houston too, am just about Beyonce’s age, and she even went to my high school for a time. Your average Houstonian (while proud to live in the “space city”) has no real connection to NASA. Houston is a sprawling city of millions of people, and NASA isn’t even in Houston, proper. It’s really in a suburb. I went to the space center once on a field trip in the 6th grade, but I had very few connections to anyone in the space program and knew no one connected with the Challenger. I would wager that Beyonce’s experience is like mine. Being from Houston shouldn’t make Beyonce more culpable in this situation. She’s just insensitive, period.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        I disagree with Liberty and agree with Ktx. I do think it is wrong to use the sample, but I can see where she wouldnt’ have recognized it from that incident. The sample is so vague, even if people are very familiar with the tragedy, I don’t think most would recognize where it came from.

    • Bubbles says:

      Have any of you ever seen an interview with her? She’s dumb as a box of rocks.

      • Cazzee says:

        I was just going to write the same thing. Have you ever heard her speak?

        Beyonce has a tremendous work ethic and is a talented singer and dancer, but when it comes to smarts she is as thick as two planks.

      • Sarah says:

        Like many stars who show talent at an early age (i.e. as a singer, dancer, actor), I doubt her family put much effort into her formal education. I’m not saying that she doesn’t work hard but I doubt that her parents thought education had much of a role in her life. I don’t think she has much awareness of much of anything outside of her own little world.

    • Hakura says:

      I feel like such a baby. xD My mom was 5 months pregnant with me at the time, when it happened. I’m… glad I wasn’t able to see it, that had to be just… ugh, I tear up even thinking about it, so horrible. =(

    • Nicolette says:

      I remember that day very well, bitter cold temps here in NY that extended down to Fla. At the time, people had grown kind of complacent about the shuttle launches. When news broke of the disaster it was a shock, and everyone was stunned. Seeing the video of the shuttle breaking apart, and the horror on the faces of the spectators and families was gut wrenching. It was a huge event. And I’ve always remembered President Reagan’s words to a grieving nation, “The crew of the space shuttle Challenger honoured us by the manner in which they lived their lives. We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for the journey and waved goodbye and ‘slipped the surly bonds of earth’ to ‘touch the face of God.’

      Beyonce could care less, and her ‘apology’ is no apology. She loves the attention it’s bringing her, no matter who she offends or hurts. It’s all about her.

      • NYC_girl says:

        I remember it was freezing – I was home from school that day (winter break?) and watched it live on TV. Horrible. I didn’t know what happened at first. Awful. I remember Reagan’s words too. Was not a fan of him but what he said was moving. Using audio from the accident is in very bad taste.

      • RN says:

        I was in college in NYC when it happened. I remember that day well. I usually try to ignore Beyonce, as her music and her personality don’t agree with me. However, I do want to say that I feel some disgust that she used this clip. “Poor taste” doesn’t even begin to sum up the idiocy of her choice.

      • PerfectDate says:

        Thank you for reminding me of President Reagan’s words. “Touch the face of God” still brings tears to my eyes. Googled and just watched his entire speech. I forgot how he spoke directly to all of the children who had watched the tragedy. Back then, everyone tuned in to the tv (or radio) to see the president’s address.

      • BooBooLaRue says:

        Never a Reagan fan, but that speech written for him was the most beautiful thing I ever heard.

      • cr says:

        Grown so complacent that the networks didn’t even cover the launch, only CNN did.
        I remember being in a shopping mall, since my school semester hadn’t started yet, and over hearing someone say something about the Challenger. I knew they’d had launch delays because of the cold weather but it never occurred to me that it would have blown up. And getting back to the dorm and being told it had exploded. And then the networks kept replaying that footage over and over and over and over.
        Reagan’s speech was written by Peggy Noonan:

        “n 1984, Noonan, as a speechwriter for President Reagan, authored his “Boys of Pointe du Hoc” speech on the 40th anniversary of D-day. She also wrote Reagan’s address to the nation after the Challenger explosion, drawing upon the poet John Magee’s famous words about aviators who “slipped the surly bonds of earth… and touched the face of God.” The latter is ranked as one of the ten best American political speeches of the 20th century according to a list compiled by professors at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Texas A&M University and based on the opinions of “137 leading scholars of American public address.” The “Pointe du Hoc” speech ranks as the 60th best speech of the century.[3]”

        Back to Beyonce: there is and was no reason for this clip to be part of the song. None.

    • Ray says:

      This happened before I was even born and even I can appreciate how inappropriate this is. Who is she to ‘heal those who have lost love ones’ messiah complex much. What a silly dumb egotistical idiot

      • Hakura says:

        @Ray – “Who is she to ‘heal those who have lost loved ones’ messiah complex much.”

        Maybe she & Jay-Z have been spending too much time around Yeezus… But I do think she (mentally) takes the whole ‘Queen Bey/King Jay’ thing seriously. But while I’ve never heard a negative word in regards to how she treats her fans/people who approach her in public, & I *do* respect that, I also think in her mind, it’s probably the ‘gracious Queen Bey coming down from on high, deigning to bless the peasants with her royal, superior presence’. Like she believes she is the single ray of sunshine in these people’s ‘dreary, boring, poor’ lives.

    • Izzy says:

      I was in junior high, in Toronto (Canada!). They told the teachers during a recess break, and the teachers broke the news in the next class. The teachers then had class discussions about the space exploration program, and how risky it can be. Handled well, but it was a really sad day. I remember my teacher had tears in his eyes when he made the announcement to our class.

      Also, Beyonce is a useless tw-t. I just can’t with that insufferable egomaniac. No excuses, just tacky to use the clip.

    • Amanduh says:

      “The only thing that statement is missing is a “so…YOU’RE WELCOME” at the very end.

      …oh Michael K., you slay me…

    • Susan says:

      And to think of the many hours, no, years that those who died in the Challenger disaster would have had to invest in order to even partake in the mission makes such a gaffe on her part that much more gross.

    • TheShowGirl says:

      I think everyone here is over reacting. I truly believe the crew members of the Challenger are in heaven dancing around on fluffy clouds and are super, super, super happy that queen Beysus used a clip related to their tragic deaths to sell a song. Sure, they’re in heaven and hang with Jesus on the regular but it’s not every day that an angel, nay, a GODDESS, gives them a wink and a smile in the form of a beautiful song that you too can buy for however much the hell a song costs on iTunes. Only hateful, devil worshiping peasants would scoff at Bey’s attempt to use dead people to make her some money.

      The ironic part in all this is that the “Major Malfunction” bit could have easily been recorded by some schlub who wasn’t connected with a fiery accident that freaked the hell out of school children across the nation and no one would have thought twice about it. It’s not like Bey was going for historical accuracy.

      • Hakura says:

        @TheShowGirl – Absolutely LOVE your post. All the wit & sarcasm moronic situations like these call for. And the thing is, I don’t even think she had anything to do with putting it in the song, that a producer just stuck it in there, & she paid no attention to it.

        I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if she didn’t even know what ‘The Challenger’ was… She is shockingly uneducated (& unconcerned about anything outside of *herself*) for someone who (given her experiences) should be worldly & sophisticated.

  2. Val says:

    She is really beginning to show her “real’ age now isn’t she? Beyonce is not too bright, my guess is she had no idea what it was.

    • Snazzy says:

      ITA. This is exactly the problem – it is the uneducated and the oblivious that define pop culture. B is one of many sad and pathetic examples of this

      • MonkSolo says:

        Another example, Kanye comparing press criticism to slavery. That’s what happens when people are dumb.

    • hunter says:

      YES!!! I came here to say exactly this. Isn’t she the same age as Gabrielle Union (41)? I’ve read they went to school together.

  3. meme says:

    I cannot stand Beyoncé and her self-worship. She is a complete phony and thinks she is the most important person in the universe.

    • JALorden says:

      This. Can’t stand her.

      • meme says:

        And ignorant. She’s ignorant and uneducated.

      • emmie_a says:

        meme: Yes, yes and yes to phony, ignorant and uneducated. She’s just so completely out-of-touch with reality (probably bc she’s too busy worshipping herself) , which is really sad. Like her wearing all that leather and cow hide to a vegan restaurant. Not a huge deal but insensitive and stupid, just like using the audio.

    • V4Real says:

      How in the hell is listening to an audio on a pop song of people who died seconds after take off is going to help their families heal. This biatch has lost her freaking mind.

      That song is not that good anyways and neither is the album.

      • Cecilia says:

        Agreed. Ignorance & no respect or compassion for her fellow human beings. I can’t stand this arrogant woman & her homely, talentless husband. The both of them need to be launched into outer-space.

      • Nerd Alert says:

        Right! The album is trash. That “Drunk and In Love” video came on my stream and I couldn’t keep from laughing at how bad it was. That is, until how bad it was gave me the dry heaves. Then I had to turn it off.

        This statement shows egregious self-absorption and ignorance, but that’s not surprising at all. She’s just the worst.

    • Sullivan says:

      I think she’s ridiculously full of herself and yet I wonder how warped my self-perspective would be in her situation. She surrounds herself with sycophants who tell her she’s brilliant. When was the last time someone disagreed with her to her face? Has she taken any college courses? She obviously didn’t need them for her career, but maybe just to learn about something that has nothing to do with Queen Bey. Her world is very small.

    • Frenzy says:

      +1000 and she talks like a 10 year old…she’s so phony!

    • Gistine says:

      I wish more people were like you and would wake the EFF up about how this bitch doesn’t care about anyone but herself.

  4. Mary says:

    I find her apology almost offensive. I used to be a huge fan but I just can’t anymore. It is too bad her huge ego won’t let her take a break and go into hiding for awhile.

    • Florc says:

      This is a good display of how out of touch she is. Yes it was likely a producer and she said it sounded good, but now that she knows and we know she knows she doesn’t seem to care.

    • Tazina says:

      She is boring. She is ignorant. She will disrespect others for money. She is full of herself and arrogant. But I can’t quite say she’s dumb, not with the bank account she has. On the other hand, that could be because of good management of her career.

      • Sullivan says:

        There are plenty of stupendously stupid people with large bank accounts. Money isn’t neccessarily the best indicator of a person’s I.Q. There are plenty of dumb, uneducated people out there with more money than brains. Not saying it’s a bad thing. It just is what it is.

  5. BeckyR says:

    Whoever came up with idea of using this audio clip showed the poorest judgement and taste. Some things should remain sacred. These people will do anything for money and attention.

  6. GiGi says:

    What is wrong with people? Seriously. I guess I don’t know how old she is, but I remember being in school and they wheeled a TV in so we could watch “a teacher go to space” and we all sat there horrified as the Challenger exploded in front of our eyes. So, obviously, include that in your pop song.

    It’s not like it’s a commentary on anything or an art piece about some larger issue. Ugh.

    • ncboudicca says:

      I guess she’s a hair too young to remember it. I was 18 at the time, and remember it with great sadness. Nothing about that day should be a sound clip on a damn pop record.

      • Peppa says:

        I am the same age as Beyonce. I was about to turn five when it happened and I vaguely remember it firsthand. I think she is showing incredible ignorance here.

      • doutzen says:

        I was 2 at the time so I don’t remember this tragedy. I do remember learning about it in history class. Unfortunately I don’t think Beyoce received much of an education.

      • Katie says:

        She’s not too young because I’m younger than her and I remember teachers always talking about this, it was a big deal. It’s sick because it’s obvious she was just trying to stir up controversy in order to stay relevant but her album did well enough so she didn’t even need to go that route. I bet she’s regretting always taking all the credit for her music now.

    • Mairead says:

      I have to assume the same about her and the producer(s). I was 10 that year and I still remember it clearly although many of my peers possibly don’t. Some kids are just that bit more aware of the wider world.

    • Tiffany :) says:

      Do you think that she could have known about the Challenger and at the same time not known that the clip was from the Challenger?

      I was a tiny kid at the time, I remember it happening…but I gotta admit, I wouldn’t have been able to tell you where that sample came from. Is it s a famous audio clip and I am just unaware?

  7. GoodNamesAllTaken says:


  8. Bubbles says:

    She is sooooooooooooooooo annoying. I completely agree with what Howard Stern said about her and Oprah.

  9. swack says:

    Tired of all these celebs not taking responsibility when they mess up.

  10. lisa2 says:

    I was wondering if this was going to be posted to day. I was not surprised when I saw that OLD UNCLE TERRY RICHARDSON was the director of this “masterpiece”.. I think it was his idea or input. I saw him talking on one of the morning shows. UGH.

    I know her music has sold off the chain.. but I don’t hear anyone talking about any of the actual songs. Nothing that has been playing or anything. All the videos look like a mesh of everything. so over the top. Like some drug fueled illusion.

    besides as I saw on one of the shows one of the commentators pointed out that adding that footage had nothing whatsoever to do with the lyrics of the song or the actual video which shows her teaching her fans a new dance.

  11. Christin says:

    This is really poor taste. Are we to believe she didn’t listen to the song and question what the clip was (assuming she didn’t already know)? This was a tragic event and I vividly recall the coverage and the devastated families who were at the launch that day.

  12. Kenny says:

    Ummm… Her statement claims she knew, and chose on purpose. I actually appreciated her sincerity and addressing the issue directly stating her intention which wasn’t in malice or a blunder. Re-read it with less stink eye. She had to license it. Had to know. Which makes her statement (not apology) appropriate. Maybe later she’ll need to meet or address families directly the. So be it.

    • Emmeline says:

      So she is in bad taste on purpose. No wonder Target rejected that sh..t

    • ol cranky says:

      I read her statement and she claims the song is to help people heal from loss. if that’s what the purpose of the song is (and I dispute that), why not let the song speak for itself without an intro that makes no sense in context with the song/lyrics?

      • Hakura says:

        @ol cranky – That was my first thought too… It made absolutely NO sense, as the song wasn’t a sad or even general, but very happy love song… Yes, the whole ‘love them while you can’ subject is breached, but it’s not projected in a way that makes the sad tragic Challenger event make enough sense to explain it’s use. I don’t believe there’s any *justifying* use of such sensitive material, in all but *maybe* a few cases. This isn’t one of them.

        Even just from a music perspective, the recording doesn’t fit the tone of the song at all.

  13. littlestar says:

    She’s a beautiful hard working woman, but Beyoncé is an idiot. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, she’s just not that bright. It’s a really great song, but how on Earth did she think using such a horrific clip would be accepted (if she even knew what the clip was…)? The Challenger disaster has no relation to this love song.

    • Fernanda says:

      Yes, I totally agree with you. She is just plain stupid. I always thought that of her. I clearly remember one of her interviews from 1999 or 2000, where she didn’t know who Led Zeppelin was. She is beautiful and hard working, but the brain department is definitely lacking.

  14. We Are All Made of Stars says:

    She has to scramble with some inoffensive excuse to save face. She’s also used samples from rocket launches on her other songs already, so it definitely wasn’t accidental on her part.

    I hadn’t realized how messed up-looking her face has gotten. I think she and Kim must use the same doctors.

    • Hakura says:

      @We Are All Made Of Stars – I wouldn’t doubt that one bit… I’ve actually always assumed that since Kim got with Kanye, she’s been trying to transform herself, so she can be Kanye’s ‘Beyonce’. The way he used to talk about Beyonce made it sound like she was his idea of an ‘ideal woman’, & Kim (insecure as she’s always been) latched onto that & has been trying to physically transform to look more like her. She’d definitely go to the same cosmetic surgeons.

      Bey on the other hand, has obviously never been happy with her own appearance, what with all the skin ligtening & major surgeries that all seem entirely for the purpose of transforming *her* into a white woman. It’s all so sad…

  15. Mandy says:

    Why would that be put at the beginning of this song? I don’t get it????

  16. doutzen says:

    I doubt she had any idea what the audio clip was. However she has made so many claims about being a song writer and being very involved in the music making process that she won’t admit she didn’t know.

  17. Ann Carter says:

    Isn’t it amusing?? The celebrities who are constantly carping about sensitivity and political correctness when it comes to everything today (..”don’t say this, don’t imply that” !!!!)
    And BOOM they turn around and trivialize something like this for commercial gain??
    Hey, BEY!!!! That clip you include was actually happening while those astronauts were STILL ALIVE in that craft. Thanks for reminding all of us of how horribly they suffered, how their families suffered and suffer still and how YOU DON’T CARE about ANYTHING unless it happens to you and yours.

    • Gen says:

      ^ this. I read a comment elsewhere that really hit the nail on the head, too. It was something about if there were a clip of Trayvon Martin before he died, would she use that and call it art? Most likely not. She really needs to get a grip and realize that just because she was removed from this horrible accident, other people were affected, and still are. These astronauts have family and friends alive today. She doesn’t care about anyone else’s pain, loss, and grief.

    • D'Oh! says:

      It’s only alright, and art, when they do it…whatever “it” may be. If it wasn’t for double standards, they’d have no standards at all.

  18. Naomi says:

    Beyonce is not involved in writing her songs in any way more than it takes for her to get royalties. The faux apology says nothing. The sample may sound good for the song but it has zero to do with the song itself. She is a talented ENTERTAINER and may be a wonderful person but she does not appear to me to show any sign of education or particular intelligence.

    As for getting rights to the sample I highly doubt she is involved in that. She has people to handle that. She is probably far more involved in how she looks, ie, videos and costumes. She probably spent more time approving the press release and how that sounds than on the origins of sample audio used in a song she had no hand in writing.

  19. Dani says:

    I never understood the hype about Beyonce. She’s just another over privileged celebrity. She gives off this holier than thou vibe and she really just grates on my nerves. Her music has become increasingly intolerable but she’s ‘Queen B’ and Hov’s wife so everyone kisses the ground they walk on. There’s so much about her I can’t stand, beginning with her half assed sincerity towards such a sensitive manner. Is it too above her to just say I’m sorry? Xo is mediocre love song, not a song ‘to help heal those who have lost loved ones and to remind us that unexpected things happen. Self absorbed much??

    • hunter says:

      She’s actually a REMARKABLY talented performer. If you can’t see that she has talent in this area then I’m afraid you’re just wrong.

      • Katie says:

        She is a talented performer but if you don’t like any of her songs, it doesn’t really matter.

      • Dani says:

        There’s a difference between being a remarkable performer and knowing your limits, and being a remarkable performer and being too self absorbed to just admit you were wrong. I don’t care for her music or for Jay-z’s.

      • Harryg says:

        I do think her voice is awful. Sorry, but it’s gummy and nasal.

    • lisa says:

      i dont know when it became a requirement to think bey is talented but i dont see it or hear it.

      i cant see anyone turning their chair for her on the voice. and i think her dancing is a lot of stomping with attitude.

      other people are free to think otherwise. but threads about her always contain some posts that proclaim her superior talent like moses brought it down the mountain on a tablet.

      • Lori says:

        Her voice has always been like nails on a chaulk board too me. I don’t get her appeal at all. I think Michelle and Kelly have better voices, They just don’t get access to great songs like she supposedly writes.

      • Hakura says:

        @Lori – I always thought Kelly was immensely talented as a vocalist as well, more so than Beyonce. But because Bey’s father managed Destiny’s Child, & Bey was his only real concern, Kelly & Michelle were always put to the side like back-up singers at their own concernts/performances.

        He played favorites, she became the star, & the other two were stuck (as long as he managed, which was pretty much the entirety of Destiny’s Child’s run). I always felt so bad for Kelly, even when she tried to launch a solo career, she just didn’t have the interest/fan base to get it off the ground, but not for lack of talent.

  20. Cora says:

    The Challenger disaster happened on my 16th birthday. All of our family and friends were over to celebrate my sweet sixteen and instead we just sat around the television in shock and despair. I’ll never forget that day as long as I live. Every birthday since, I think of the souls lost that day and pray for them.

    • Chrissy says:

      So sorry it ruined what was supposed to be your Sweet 16!

      • Mairead says:

        I don’t think she meant it in that way. I think it’s that the day and date sticks in her head because it coincided with her 16th birthday.

        I know that there are plenty who would mean it the way you’re thinking, look at the submissions to STFU Parents around 9/11 for example. *shudder*

  21. LucyS says:

    I was in second grade, watching it live, when the Challenger exploded. Christa McAuliffe was a local from my state and we were so excited and proud to watch her go into space. That was a tough day for a lot of teachers to explain to a lot of kids who had never witnessed tragedy before (which, of course, pales in comparison to what the crew members’ families experienced). It’s pretty disgusting that someone would use that clip, a moment in time that brings a lot of pain to people, as entertainment. She’s gross and her not-apology is even grosser.

    • Chrissy says:

      I agree. What a thing to exploit! What next, audio of the Twin Towers falling?

      • Nina says:

        Give it time. That’ll be on her next album.

      • Nicolette says:

        @Nina I agree, give it time. She or some other idiot will have it on a recording for some stupid song.

      • V4Real says:

        Not trying to get too off topic here but this just reminded me of Biggie Smalls. He had a song called “Juicy” in it he says “Time to get paid blow up like the World Trade. Of course he was talking about the first attempt of the bombing of the Twin Towers and people found that to be insensitive. Flash Forward I know a few people who had never heard that song before and after listening to it they said how dare he say that after 9/11. They were unaware that Biggie was long dead and that song came out around 1994. Now when radios play that song they just bleep out the World Trade lyrics.

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        Every time I hear those particular lyrics in “Juicy” I get a shiver up my spine.
        I didn’t know that radios blur that part out…not sure how I feel about that.

        Off-topic but what a brilliant yet tragic figure Biggie was. I often wonder where he’d be today, musically, if he hadn’t met such a tragic fate.

      • V4Real says:

        @TOK I actually watched The Notorious BIG on the tele’ last night out of boredom. I didn’t see it when it was released in theaters; thinking it would be too cheesy. I know these types of autobiographies don’t always get it right but it made me realize how talented that man really was. It also showed the human side of him which was quite loveable.

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        Oooooh, I wanna see! I wonder if it’s on Netflix?

      • V4Real says:

        I saw it on BET. Have a wonderful and safe New Year Kitten.

  22. Joy says:

    She’s at the point where she thinks she can take a dump on stage and everyone will love it. She just got shown otherwise. She’s tacky.

  23. Ag says:

    Ignorance, self-involvement, and a feeling of total entitlement. Ugh.

  24. MelissaMelissa says:

    At this point, Beyonce can do or say whatever she wants, no matter how inappropriate, stupid, heartless, or all of the aforementioned and she knows that NOTHING will ever affect her. This woman has the media eating in her hands, more so than the fans. In fact, this is the first decade that I have seen media becoming more fans, than actual fans of celebrities.

    I like Beyonce’s music, although it’s a bit of an indulgence for me, I rarely have it but when I do I always enjoy and it fills me up quickly. But it pains me how much she can get away with.

  25. Kiddo says:

    Maybe she can use some 9/11 tapes for a song about her boobs, next. She is a bit of a twit, isn’t she?

    • TheOriginalKitten says:

      Yeah, she either doesn’t fully grasp-or-doesn’t really care about the historical importance of the emotion-laden audio clip that she used. As I said below, the issue for me is less about the use of the clip and more about the context in which she used it. It seems to diminish and invalidate a tragedy, instead of using the clip to honor the lives of those who died in the Challenger crash.

      Seems like there’s a lot of justification and back-pedaling on Beyoncé’s part.

  26. ANON says:


  27. floretta50 says:

    What do you expect from the only person in history who had the nerve to lip sync the national anthem at a presidential inauguration then had the nerve to show how much she can really sing after the event, what use was that afterwards? In this instance Beyonce use the same sorry excuse, using the shuttle disaster was for the survivors but the survivors are hurt, by her exploitation of their loved ones tragic deaths, so what is the use? Which person of color was brown skin when they were young, even on the red carpet a few years ago, but now their skin is white, trust me her fans swear she isn’t bleaching her skin yes she was light skin but not white. Rhianna is almost white look at pictures of her brother the nation island where Rhianna is from most of the people are part Carib Indians and have reddish hair and very white skin. Non talent like Beyonce whose fans and the media have gotten to the point where they are letting them get away with nasty slights on ordinary people.

    • Anele says:

      Hey Whitney Houston also lip synched and Kenny G also used the same clip on his album but I guess he is white so its okay

  28. diva says:

    If Beyonce is as involved and in control of her career as she claims then she knows where the clip came from. She’s just doesn’t care. Glad she got called out on it. That excuse was pitiful and made no sense.

  29. TheOriginalKitten says:

    I’m in the minority here in the sense that I don’t think that using the audio should be automatically off-limits BUT that being said, INTENTION MATTERS. If she was using it as part of a message about the fragility of life or any other relevant topic, then I wouldn’t have a big issue with it. The fact that it seems like something that was thrown in as an afterthought is what bothers me. Just seems so careless and cruel on her part.

    • Kiddo says:

      Like going all “vegan” in fur, lol?

    • Evie says:

      I’m with you, OGKitten. I don’t think using the clip should be off-limits, and can think of at least two others instances where historical clips are used in songs. As you said, I think it is more the context in which she used it that should be the issue.

    • Mairead says:

      I think that’s fair enough – if it was a song about the disaster or inspired by a catastrophe, it might be appropriate. Although it would have to be a remarkable piece of work. But just as a random clip on a completely unrelated theme… Sod off Bouncy!

    • Seagulls says:

      I don’t necessarily think you’re in the minority at all. I think most of us are appalled by the insensitivity of using this clip, as you say, as an afterthought. I can’t think of an example, but I feel certain that an artist with good intention and forethought (and asking the affected families’ permission) could have really made a tribute song, but that is not what she set out to do. She set out to get attention and she got it. Last time it was rank plagiarism, this time it’s working hard to offend people – what’s she going to do next time?

      • Hakura says:

        @Seagulls – I hadn’t heard about the plaguiarism before you mentioned it. (It ‘inspired’ me to Google it xP). WTF is wrong with these celebs lately, all thinking they’re entitled to use whomever’s ideas/creations/music without an ounce of credit & respect? Beyonce, Kanye sampling that one guy’s music for Bound 2, & Shia Lebouf… It’s like they’re trying to make it acceptable, but if someone did that with *their* music/ideas/choregraphy, God have mercy on your soul (& wallet), because they’d sic their lawyers on you like bloodhounds.

        This just puts another check mark in the ‘why to dislike Beyonce’ column. Like there weren’t enough there already.

  30. jinni says:

    Using this audio to represent appreciating every minute on has with their loved ones makes about as much since as using footage of people jumping from the Twin Towers during 9/11 to begin a video about falling in love. She really is stupid and her “apology” makes it even worst. But of course nothing will happen because Beyonce is untouchable. I always use to wonder why would some like her get with Jay-z, now I see that they are more alike than I thought.

  31. queenfreddiemercury says:

    This is why I couldn’t get into this album. I like the song but she does things like add the challenger crash to a nice song. Also Drunk in love there is a line about Ike and Tina. She really should just apologize already.

  32. Dreamyk says:

    I haven’t heard the song, but to say it’s inappropriate, is a major understatement. This was a national tragedy the likes of which to this day still reverberate.

    Completely unacceptable on every level and it should be removed immediately. How dare she profit off of lost lives. Disgusting. I am incensed.

  33. Sarah says:

    This woman is SUCH an a**hole.

  34. Jennifer12 says:

    Anyone who thinks she needs a gold plated vibrator is completely out of touch with reality.

  35. Eleonor says:

    Beyoncé never says “sorry”, it’s too peasanty.

  36. Skye says:

    Good grief. Just listened to this for the first time. The song is sweet, but that sample is in the POOREST of taste. If it’s just there to accentuate the “crash” line in the first verse, and she had no idea what it was, that’s bad enough (and makes me wonder if someone on her team was passive-aggressively trolling her). If she KNEW what it was and thought it was in any way appropriate, that’s even worse. FAIL.

    I was in 4th grade when Challenger happened, and we had gathered in the adjoining classroom to watch the launch. I still remember that day as the first time I ever saw my teachers – in fact, any adults outside my family – cry, and it chokes me up now to think of it. I can’t imagine what people with a genuine personal connection must feel when they hear this sample. Again… FAIL.

    • Wren33 says:

      I was in 3rd grade and I remember our teacher coming back into the classroom crying. We didn’t watch it live, but a bunch of kindergarteners in our school did. I definitely saw the clips later that day. I think it was so horrifying because so many little kids watched the launch at school live, and there had been so many interviews of Christa McAuliffe beforehand.

  37. Palermo says:

    I worked with the brother of one of those who died, I find this whole thing revolting.

  38. BRE says:

    I was 10 when that happened and if I were to hear that audio without any explanation I wouldn’t know where it came from, wouldn’t even link it to something so horrific. I remember the event but don’t remember any audio related to it. I’m not sure if a lot of people would, it isn’t as known as “Houston we have a problem.”. That being said, I would have probably asked where that sample came from before I included it. She really should remove it.

  39. Spike says:

    Leave Beyoncé alone!

  40. jensies says:

    I read an article in Slate where they talked about how this wasn’t an accident, and was definitely intentional.

    I also listened to the song, and I agree with her, it is about taking those moments in life when you have them, because you never know when life could end, so I get why she used the clip. Beyonce is smart, and very intentional. She knew what she was doing, and I get why she did what she did. I also get why it upset people.

    I don’t know. . .I don’t think the clip should have been off limits, but I would have liked to have seen her acknowledge it up front, and maybe make a donation to the families of those killed in the incident.

  41. Jane says:

    She just released a more comprehensive statement minutes ago, but it doesn’t really help. She screwed up big time and she needs to own it. TMZ was talking about her latest statement and one of the guys said would she have ever considered using footage from 911? Obviously not, because she didn’t. But the Challenger disaster was OK?

    Good question. I think this shows her ignorance and the ignorance of those around her.

  42. kellyinseattle says:

    I heard someone say it was a good thing by bringing attention of the disaster to a. New generation….that s a real reach.

  43. rep says:

    I’m sick and tired of the media promoting celebs also. News reporters in my área were acting like her explanation/statement was brilliant and put the matter to rest. It was ridiculous, they were all I new she would know just what to say, she always comes through. Just deliver the news and stop jockin.

  44. Lexi says:

    I’m just wondering….what is the average age of people on here? i feel so young… lol

  45. anne_000 says:

    I could watch only the 1st half of the video before I had to stop. There are no visuals of the shuttle or anything relevant to the shuttle tragedy in the video. So I’m guessing that all they wanted from that audio clip was for it to be a prelude to her song. That’s all. It wasn’t a memorial to the shuttle tragedy.

  46. lucy2 says:

    That is just plain awful. I don’t even know what else to say about it.

  47. lisa says:

    she is an idiot. and no one around the empress will tell her she has no clothes.

    sometimes, it is best to say, i didnt know, i’m sorry and i will fix it.

  48. The Girl Who Would Be King Of The Popes says:

    Anyone see her The Last Supper re-interpretation? Geez.

  49. lisa2 says:

    It always confused me how she could be friends with Gwyneth. Now things are more clearer.

  50. judyjudy says:

    It’s nice of her to use it in a song to help people heal 28 years after the fact.

  51. Idiotcelebrities. says:

    This is tacky, plain thoughtless and in terribly poor taste. I don’t believe her issued statement and find it insulting to the poor victims families.

    “It was recorded with the sincerest intention to help heal those who have lost loved ones” Etc

    Is she for real? Pretty bold statement to make, your song can help these families heal from using a sample audio from a disaster that took the lives of their loved ones. I can’t even begin to understand why she would think that. I am disgusted at her casual reasoning.

    There are many reasons I’ve never been a Beyonce fan and this is one more thing to add. I liked her humble Destiny’s Child days, solo Bey, Sasha Fierce don’t care for.

  52. betsyd says:

    I read this site daily, and really, not everything deserves an apology. it’s a song, and it’s getting publicity. That’s the point. At some point we really need to stop being so sensitive to pop singers,

    • Holly Hobby says:

      This has nothing to do about “being sensitive” about idiot entertainers. The use of that tape was inappropriate. People died in that launch. To profit from the dead is wrong!

      Would you be saying the same thing if she used tape from the JFK assassination, 911, the bombing of the federal building, Newtown, the Holocaust, Columbine, etc? You see where I’m going with this?

  53. tmbg says:

    I think this was one of the most shocking moments of my life, if not the most shocking. I was nine and didn’t see the actual launch, but the subsequent news reports were bone-chilling. When I heard the uninterrupted audio of it when I was older, it was just as disturbing. Can you imagine being in that crowd of spectators and your family member just died in an explosion before your eyes? Horrifying.

    I don’t buy her explanation for a second. Why not use a sample from a successful launch? Oh, that’s right, it wouldn’t get the same exposure. *roll eyes*

  54. deVries says:

    Are you guys sure beyonce recorded XO,how can you as an artist not understand your song and then call it a healing mumba jumba for people…smh,its just a freakin love song.maybe she does a better job than brittney at lip synching and voice engineering

  55. Hypocrisy says:

    I don’t understand the excuse of : she was too Young to remember or she is just plain dumb or she is a great performer so we should tolerate the unbearable.

    Sorry, at 32, ignorance isn’t an excuse anymore, you should know better and should own it when you are wrong. You are just vicious, insensitive and mean, point blank !

    All of us weren’t born during WWI, WWII or duriNg slavery, yet, if we were singers and posted anything inapropriate related to it, like the Naghasaki bombing or whatever, everyone would scream : poor taste and nobody will excuse us for not being there at the time. You should know before opening your trap !

    You have no excuse for ignorance when you are an adult.
    You have ABSOLUTELY no excuse for ignorance when you advertise YOUR WORK as a professional who has the final say..

    In any case, you are responsible of your product.

    You put something wrong in it, after more than 18 years in the business, after promoting yourself like the queen Professional, then you expect us to say you are just an idiot ???? NO, you are DELIBERATLY a vicious, mean, tasteless business woman who will use anything to do business with, including exploiting tragedies for shock value, self promotion, free advertisment for more $$$$$$$$$$.

    That’s all it is !

    Dumb and too Young to own it and be 100% responsible for it, giving lame obscene excuse like she is now a self appointed psychiatrist whose job is to heal the world from this tragedy ? My a$$ !

    Shame on you Bey for exploiting this tragedy and for insulting our intelligence with this lame excuse of yours, Miss Wanna Be Shrink In Charge To heal the World From The Challenger Tragedy…How massively arrogant are you ?

  56. Megan says:

    She’s a f^cking idiot. Her self worship and overinflated ego has taken over what used to seem like a nice, humble young woman (way back in the day when she first started) and it’s a shame. Queen Bey?? Not in the least. This woman has become a joke and the only people who would “bow down” to her and her equally obnoxious husband are their stans who are so far up their ass that they can barely breath. No wonder she’s such good friends with Goop.

    This moron need to issue a real apology. Those people lost their loved ones in a horrible tragedy, and you used the audio footage from it for a stupid song. Making a profit off other peoples pain to buy yourself more gold plated dildos huh?? Gtfo Beyoncé.

  57. LaurieH says:

    As someone who lived 15 miles from Cape Canaveral and stood outside my office on that cold January morning and watched the shuttle explode with my own eyes…..Yeah. Inappropriate.

  58. alex says:

    What’s sad is that she is such an egomaniac that she will never remove it or apologize based on any public outcry despite the fact that it seems like the majority of Americans are offended. Instead she’ll complain about free speech and censorship. She’s getting exactly what she wanted — ATTENTION.

  59. Stephbpt says:

    I was in 4th grade in central Florida – they used to take all students outside to watch the launches live back then. It was really cold and we were all so excited that a teacher was going in to space. I still remember clearly how we all knew something had gone wrong. They hurried us back to in to the classroom and it was so sad. Unintentional but still taste less. Just apologize already. I like her less and less these days …

  60. Denise says:

    Beyonce does not live in our world, obviously. Her ego could fill infinite space.

    • MonkSolo says:

      good article, but what no one says is that her dancing is awful… all jerk and no grace

  61. Shay15 says:

    How is that an apology?? It was more like a “yeah, I know you guys think it’s inappropriate, but I think it’s totally okay and I’m not wrong so yeah here’s some weak ass explanation and whatever”

  62. MonkSolo says:

    and here I thought it was cause she enjoys profiting from death and tragedy

  63. Anele says:

    Calm down all of you

    Kenny G used the same clip but I guess he is white and male so can do so

    I am 29 and only learnt of this crash through this controversy

    Beyonce is a steady target for you folk.