4 is the fourth solo studio album by Beyoncé, released by Columbia Records on June 24, 2011. The twelve-song set marks the first release by Knowles since separating professionally with father and manager, Mathew Knowles, in March 2011.
Upon its release, 4 received mostly positive reviews from critics, who viewed it as a progression from Knowles' previous albums and commended its mid-tempo musical style, understated production, and her vocal performance. The album debuted at number one in approximately 20 countries, including the United States with 310,000 units sold in the first week.
Preceding the album's release, the lead single from the project, Run The World (Girls), was made available worldwide on April 21, 2011. Subsequently, 1+1 was debuted as a promotional single a performance by Beyoncé on the Season 10 finale of American Idol on May 25, 2011. Best Thing I Never Had was released on June 1, 2011, as the album's second single.
- "I Care"
- "I Miss You"
- "Best Thing I Never Had"
- "Party" (feat. Andre 3000)
- "Rather Die Young"
- "Start Over"
- "Love on Top"
- "End of Time"
- "I Was Here"
- "Run the World (Girls)"
In addition, the Deluxe Version of 4 includes:
- "Lay Up Under Me"
- "Schoolin' Life"
- "Dance For You"
- "Run The World (Girls)" Kaskade Club Remix
- "Run The World (Girls)" Red Top Club Remix
- "Run The World (Girls)" Jochen S Club Remix
- "Run the World (Girls)"; Released: April 21, 2011
- "Best Thing I Never Had"; Released: June 1, 2011
- "Party"; Released: August 30, 2011
- "Love on Top"; Released: September 12, 2011
- "Countdown";Released: October 4, 2011
Beyoncé, on the eve of 4's release, opens her set at the 2011 Glastonbury Festival with "Crazy in Love". She was the first solo female artist to headline the event in over twenty years. Beyoncé made several appearances on television and in live shows to promote 4. She performed "Run the World (Girls)" for the first time on May 17, 2011, on Surprise Oprah! A Farewell Spectacular at the United Center in Chicago. She also performed the song at the 2011 Billboard Music Awards. On May 25, "1+1" was made available for download through the iTunes Store in the United States. The same day, "1+1" was performed at the American Idol finale; she introduced it as her "favorite song". In June, she performed at the Palais Nikaia in Nice, Zénith in Lille, and the Galaxie in Amnéville. On June 26, Beyoncé was the closing act at the 2011 Glastonbury Festival in the United Kingdom. She was the first solo female artist to headline the Pyramid stage at the Glastonbury Festival in more than twenty years. A pre-taped performance of "Best Thing I Never Had" and "End of Time" at the Glastonbury Festival was broadcast during the 2011 BET Awards. The following day, Beyoncé's exclusive hour-long interview with Piers Morgan in London was broadcast on Piers Morgan Tonight. She also appeared on the finale of France's The X Factor to perform "Run the World (Girls)" and "Best Thing I Never Had". An MTV television special, Beyoncé: Year of 4, premiered on June 30, documenting Beyoncé's life during 4's production.
On July 1, Beyoncé appeared on Good Morning America as part of its "Summer Concert Series" in New York City. She also projected images from 4 on a number of London's landmarks, including Madame Tussauds and Battersea Power Station. She then traveled to Scotland to perform at the T in the Park Festival on July 10, 2011. The next day, she performed at the Oxegen Festival in Ireland. On July 28, 2011, Beyoncé performed "1+1" and "Best Thing I Never Had" on The View; the latter was also performed on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon the same day. From August 16–19, Beyoncé held the 4 Intimate Nights with Beyoncé concerts at the Roseland Ballroom to a standing room only audience. Subsequently, the Live at Roseland: Elements of 4 DVD was released in November. "Love on Top" was sung at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards on August 28, Beyoncé finished the performance by unbuttoning her blazer and rubbing her stomach to confirm her pregnancy. A live performance of "Countdown" recorded in July was broadcast on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon in November.