Who says [artist id="1236911"]Beyoncé[/artist] retired Sasha Fierce? On Wednesday night, the music video for her new girl-power anthem, “Run the World (Girls),” premiered on “American Idol,” and now Beyoncé is looking just as sexy and empowered on the just-unveiled cover art for her upcoming album, 4.
In the photo, which was posted on Beyoncé’s website, the singer sports only a fur vest, thick gold cuffs and smoky eye makeup as she looks off into the distance. The album will be released on June 28. According to a press release, Beyoncé recorded the LP over the span of a year, beginning the project in spring 2010 and wrapping up in the spring of this year.
“I recorded more than 60 songs; everything I ever wanted to try, I just did it,” she recently told us about the album. “I started off being inspired by [Afrobeat music pioneer] Fela Kuti. I actually worked with the band from ‘Fela!’ [the hit Broadway musical based on Kuti's life] for a couple of days, just to get the feel for the soul and heart of his music; it’s so sexy and has a great groove you get lost in. I loved his drums, all the horns, how everything was on the one. What I learned most from Fela was artistic freedom: He just felt the spirit.”
Fela wasn’t the only artist that influenced the music on 4, though. “I also found a lot of inspiration in ’90s R&B, Earth, Wind & Fire, DeBarge, Lionel Richie, Teena Marie,” Beyoncé said. “I listened to a lot of Jackson 5 and New Edition, but also Adele, Florence and the Machine and Prince. Add in my hip-hop influences, and you can hear how broad it is. I also gave myself more freedom to really belt out some songs, and bring soul singing back. I used a lot of the brassiness and grittiness in my voice that people hear in my live performances, but not necessarily on my records.”
What do you think of the cover art for Beyoncé’s upcoming album? Share your opinions in the comments.