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Beyoncé in July 2011
Beyoncé

4 is the fourth studio album by American singer Beyoncé (pictured), released on June 24, 2011, by Parkwood Entertainment and Columbia Records. In collaborations with songwriters and producers The-Dream, Tricky Stewart, and Shea Taylor, Beyoncé aimed for a mellower rhythm and blues tone with influences from funk, hip hop, and soul. She severed professional ties with Mathew Knowles, her father and manager, to help her develop an intimate, personal album. The lyrics emphasize monogamy, female empowerment and self-reflection. The album received generally positive reviews from music critics, and some put it on their year-end lists. It was her fourth consecutive album to debut at number one on the US Billboard 200, and it also reached number one in Brazil, France, Ireland, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. It spawned the international singles "Run the World (Girls)", "Best Thing I Never Had", "Party", "Love On Top" and "Countdown". "Love On Top" won the Grammy Award for Best Traditional R&B Performance at the 55th annual ceremony. The album has sold more than 1.5 million copies in the United States. (Full article...)

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