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Check Out The Real Story Behind Jay-Z’s 4:44 Single

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Gospel singer Kim Burrell reveals how her music inspired Jay-Z’s 4:44 single.

More than five years after Jay-Z released 4:44. Kim Burrell has revealed the truth behind the album’s titular track and how she ended up as a feature on the song. 

In an October interview with We Sound Crazy that recently surfaced, the gospel singer revealed that Jay-Z called her on the phone and requested to meet because her music helped his wife through a difficult time in her life. According to Burrell, Jay said Beyoncé would lock herself in a room and listen to nothing but Kim Burrell for 11 hours just to feel better. 

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“At the time, I didn’t know it was going to be the name of the record but he called me and said, ‘Hey, my wife is going through it. I always know because I hear you playing in the background,’” she recalled. “He’s like, ‘My wife locked up in there for 11 hours and I heard nothing but Kim Burrell for 11 hours.’” 

Burrell explained that Jay-Z called her to say that he just had to meet the woman who lifted his wife’s spirits.

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“He’s like, ‘Here’s why I’m calling you. When she came out, she was better.’ He said she was so much better. He says, ‘I’m calling you because I need to have a meeting with the person that made my wife better.’” 

Following the conversation, Kim said that she flew out to him and met him at the studio where he recorded 4:44. Though her intention wasn’t to appear on the album, she wound up providing background vocals for the highly emotional track, which served as Jay-Z’s public apology to Beyoncé for his infidelities. 

Back in 2017, shortly after the album dropped, Jay-Z explained 4:44 is one of the best songs he’s ever written.

“‘4:44’ is a song that I wrote, and it’s the crux of the album, just right in the middle of the album. And I woke up, literally, at 4:44 in the morning, 4:44 AM, to write this song,” Jay-Z told iHeart Radio. “So it became the title of the album and everything. It’s the title track because it’s such a powerful song, and I just believe one of the best songs I’ve ever written.”

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Checkout a clip from the interview below.

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