Listeners can hear the voice of a NASA officer minutes after the 1986 Challenger tragedy, which killed all seven crew members.
The music starts immediately, and in the song's video, viewers are taken into an amusement park with flashing lights.
Critics say using the audio trivializes the disaster.
In an exclusive statement to ABC News, 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."