Beyoncé originally rose to fame starting off as the lead vocalist of the all girl R&B trio – Destiny’s Child. Having been formerly known as Girl’s Tyme and being together in a group for fourteen years, the group parted ways in 2005, and Beyoncé began her own solo career. Knowles had released her first solo album, Dangerously In Love in 2003 while she took a break from Destiny’s Child. It was number one on the charts and became extremely successful. She released her second album titled B’Day in 2006 for which she received the Grammy for “Best Contemporary R&B Album” and her third, I am… Sasha Fierce in 2008 going double platinum and reaching number one on the Billboard charts. Beyoncé also showed her talent as an actress when she starred in the film Dreamgirls. She also shows her talent in the fashion world with the line House of Dereon.
4 was released June 4th, 2011 after taking a year long break from her hectic career in 2010. She wanted to enjoy the simpler things in life, listening to every genre of music she loves, and to gain some creativity and inspiration for her album. (See video below)
She incorporated many of her favorite genres in the album including: R&B from the late 70’s and early 80’s, Pop and Soul, and includes ballads along with upbeat songs. Beyoncé said she wanted to create a new genre of music for this album. She then went on to say “Well, I wouldn’t say I’m inventing a new genre,” she said. “I’m mixing every type of genre that I love and I’m inspired by every type of genre.” Some of her inspirations for this album were Fela Kuti, Lauryn Hill, Stevie Wonder, and Michael Jackson. The title of the album not only signifies the fact that it is her fourth album, but it represents her date of birth. Her fans had urged her to name the album 4, and so she did. The album speaks about things like female empowerment and value, for example with the song Run The World (Girls), to topics on love and soul mates, with the song 1+1. Although the album was fully leaked three weeks before its official release, it still sold 310,000 copies in its first week and placed number one on the Billboard 200 Chart. It was certified platinum by the RIAA. The singles from this album include: Run The World (Girls), Best Thing I Never Had, Countdown, and Party.
Album – 5!