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."
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