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explanations

And Beyoncé’s New Album Is Called …

4! Just 4. It’s her fourth album, and also, she tells Billboard in a new cover story, “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.” (Also born on the 4th, as his track “December 4th” attests: Jay-Z.) Anyway, Stone Temple Pilots approve.

And there’s more good stuff from Billboard. Namely, Bey’s totally reasonable explanation for the lackluster chart performance of “Run the World (Girls)” so far:


It's definitely riskier than something a bit more ... simple. I just heard the track and loved that it was so different: it felt a bit African, a bit electronic and futuristic. It reminded me of what I love, which is mixing different cultures and eras — things that typically don't go together — to create a new sound. I can never be safe; I always try and go against the grain. As soon as I accomplish one thing, I just set a higher goal. That's how I've gotten to where I am.

Or, in other words: I got weird because this shit is too easy for me.

Also, this bit:


I took more than a year off: I traveled around, spent time with my husband, woke up in my own bed, ate whatever I wanted, went to museums and Broadway plays, watched documentaries, and just had life experiences. I never get to go to concerts because I'm usually performing, so I saw so many shows — great bands, like Muse and Rage Against the Machine, that also inspired the album.

So many questions left unanswered! Which museums? What kind of documentaries? Battle of Los Angeles Rage or Evil Empire Rage?

Beyoncé: The Billboard Music Awards Q&A [Billboard]

Photo: Dove Shore/Getty Images