Beyonce Strikes A Fierce Pose On Her ‘4’ Album Cover

Following last night’s video premiere of  “Run The World (Girls)” on American Idol, both the album cover and release date for Beyonce’s upcoming fourth LP 4 have been revealed. Are you ready for this jelly? Bey, who looks like she’s getting her Raquel Welch on with her 4 stance and (controversial?) fur garb, is in full-on promo mode. Not only did she mentor Idol‘s remaining three contestants last night, she got busy this week with taping a Sasha-fierce performance for Oprah Winfrey’s upcoming Farewell Spectacular, which marks the daytime talk show icon’s exit from her quarter-century-old series. (Note to Little Monsters and Bey stans everywhere: the Oprah special airs next week, on May 23 and 24 — i.e. right when Lady Gaga’s Born This Way drops. Can Planet Pop handle this much diva in one week?)

Sony announced that 4 will be released (via Columbia) on June 28, a date that will also herald the arrival of new releases from Selena Gomez & The Scene, David Cook and Jill Scott. Beyonce recorded her fourth album over the course of a year, between spring 2009 and spring 2010, with such songwriters and producers as Jim Jonsin, Ne-Yo, Sean Garrett, The Dream, Diplo, Switch, Derek Miller and Frank Ocean.

Earlier this month Bey described the music that was inspiring her while making the record to Billboard:

“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 his 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. I also found a lot of inspiration in ’90s R&B, Earth, Wind & Fire, DeBarge, Lionel Richie, Teena Marie… I listened to a lot of Jackson 5 and New Edition, but also Adele, Florence + the Machine, and Prince.”

The album’s campaign officially kicked off in April with the debut of Beyonce’s “Run The World (Girls),” a single that, to-date, has been floundering somewhat on the Billboard Hot 100. The Major Lazer-sampling electro groove initially debuted at #33 on the chart, but has been in a steady free-fall since then. (This week the song is down to #76.)

But can you ever truly count worldly songstress Bey out? While her second LP B’Day got off to a rocky start five years ago with forgettable lead single “Deja Vu” and its under-performing followup “Ring The Alarm,” the album pulled no punches with the smash Ne-Yo/Stargate-co-produced “Irreplaceable,” which spent nine weeks atop the Hot 100 and became a solidified Beyonce classic.

Will you be picking up a copy of 4 when Bey season rolls around in late June? Let us know below!

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