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Beyonce Stirs Up Controversy With References to Tina Turner Abuse and Challenger Disaster On New Album

Buda Mendes, Getty Images

It seems as if Beyonce can do no wrong — after all, she just blew up the Internet and shattered records with the release of her self-titled, visual album, ‘Beyonce.’ But Queen Bey’s latest effort is also kicking up some controversy, with one song referencing Tina Turner’s abuse and another sampling audio from the Challenger explosion.

During ‘Drunk in Love,’ Beyonce’s husband, Jay-Z, raps: “I am Ike Turner, turn up / Baby know I don’t play / Now eat the cake, Anna Mae/ Said eat the cake, Anna Mae.”

This is a direct reference to a scene in ‘What’s Love Got To Do With It?’, the film about Tina Turner’s life. Born Anna Mae Bullock, the iconic singer’s abusive husband, Ike Turner, shoves cake in her mouth and all over her face, demanding that she “eat the cake, Anna Mae.”

Meanwhile, in the song ‘XO,’ the tune begins with a sample of NASA officer Steve Nesbitt saying, “Flight controllers here looking very carefully at the situation. Obviously a major malfunction.” These were the words he spoke immediately after the Challenger’s horrific explosion in 1986.

It is important to point out that neither song is about abuse, nor the tragic spaceship accident. In fact, ‘Drunk in Love’ is explicitly about sex, and the ‘XO’ video takes place at Coney Island and features couples kissing, with Beyonce riding happily on the various amusement park rides.

Listen to the songs below, and tell us: Do you think the references were inappropriate?

Watch ‘Drunk in Love’ (the Tina Turner reference begins at 4:42)

Watch ’XO’

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