Beyonce names new album "4"

Wed May 11, 2011 5:19pm EDT
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By Ray Rogers

NEW YORK (Billboard) - Beyonce's upcoming fourth solo album will be called "4," a title she says was inspired by her fans.

"Everywhere I look, I see them calling it '4,' she told Billboard. "I had a whole other name and concept, but I keep seeing that the fans love the name '4,' and I think it would be a really nice thing to let them name the record."

The number four also holds personal significance for Beyonce.

"We all have special numbers in our lives, and 4 is that for me," she says. It's the day I was born. My mother's birthday, and a lot of my friends' birthdays, are on the fourth; April 4 is my wedding date."

Beyonce said her early inspiration for the album came from Afrobeat music pioneer Fela Kuti: "I recorded more than 60 songs: everything I ever wanted to try, I just did it. I started off being inspired by Fela Kuti. I actually worked with the band from "Fela!" (the hit Broadway musical based on his life) for a couple of days...what I learned most from Fela was artistic freedom: he just felt the spirit."

"4," due out in June, marks the follow-up to 2008's "I Am ... Sasha Fierce."

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<p>Singer Beyonce smiles as she makes an appearance at the Macy's department store to promote her new fragrance Heat in New York February 3, 2010. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson</p>