We consider simply connected 4-manifolds admitting Lefschetz fibrations over the 2-sphere. We explicitly construct nonhyperelliptic and hyperelliptic Lefschetz fibrations of genus 4 on simply-connected 4-manifolds which are exotic symplectic 4-manifolds in the homeomorphism classes of CP2 #8<(CP2)over bar> and CP2#9<(CP2)over bar>, respectively. From these, we provide upper bounds for the minimal number of singular fibers of such fibrations. In addition, we prove that this number is equal to 18 for g = 3 when such fibrations are hyperelliptic. Moreover, we discuss these numbers for higher genera.