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Beyonce Looks to MJ, Lauryn Hill, Fela Kuti for Inspiration

Jemal Countess/Getty Images

Beyonce has taken something of a hiatus from music over the past year, using a much-needed break to rest and work on new ideas for her next album. Now, one of the more innovative pop stars in the world is coming back and intends to mix every genre she loves into a brand new beast.

“Well, I wouldn’t say I’m inventing a new genre,” Beyonce told MTV News. “I’m mixing every type of genre that I love and I’m inspired by every type of genre… I’m not in a box. It’s not R&B. It’s not typically pop. It’s not rock. It’s just everything I love all mixed together in my own little gumbo of music.”

She is citing older inspirations than usual this time around. From the propulsive, revolutionary African music of Fela Kuti, she’s looking for rhythm. From soul mainstays like Stevie Wonder, she’s finding emotion. Bey also claims that Michael Jackson‘s ‘Off the Wall’ and Lauryn Hill will be major influences on her follow-up to 2008′s ‘I Am… Sasha Fierce.’

So far, Beyonce has hit the studio with many of her usual collaborators, including Jim Jonsin, Ne-Yo and Sean Garrett. Look for that list to expand as she begins to really lock down the thematic concerns of the as-of-yet untitled record.

In other news, Beyonce’s ‘I Am…World Tour’ film will debut on ABC at 9:30PM this Thanksgiving Day. The film tracks Beyonce on her world tour for her third studio album, ‘I Am … Sasha Fierce.’ A DVD of the footage will be available nationwide on Nov. 30.

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