POP QUEEN Beyonce has been forced to explain why she sampled audio recordings from a fatal space shuttle disaster in her new hit XO.
The track, which comes from her latest album, features in its opening a NASA official saying while the 1986 Challenger disaster is unfolding: “Flight controllers here looking very carefully at the situation. Obviously a major malfunction”.
The incident over 27 years ago resulted in the deaths of seven astronauts after the space craft plummeted down to Earth and crashed.
Beyonce has faced criticism over her decision to use the sample, and current and former NASA workers have questioned her judgment.
Retired astronaut Clayton Anderson told ABC News: “For the words to be used in the video is simply insensitive, at the very least.”
But in a statements given to ABC News, the singer defended her choice of audio sample in the song.
Beyonce 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.”