Tuesday, December 31, 2013 5:45am ET by  
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Beyoncé responds to criticism over using sample from Challenger space shuttle crash

Beyoncé has explained why she included an audio sample of the 1986 space shuttle Challenger disaster in a new song.

Seven lives were instantly lost when the Challenger mission failed after only 73 seconds after take off.

A NASA public affairs official said as the wreckage fell to earth: "Flight controllers here looking very carefully at the situation. Obviously a major malfunction".

Beyoncé used the audio sample in her new song 'XO' and she was condemned by families of the victims and former NASA employees.

However, the singer said that the sample was used to pay tribute to the space staff, saying:

"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."






Listen to 'XO' below: