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Beyoncé Shocks The World With Surprise Visual Album
Beyoncé Shocks The World With Surprise Visual Album

Beyoncé Shocks The World With Surprise Visual Album

Queen Bey does what she wants.

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Beyoncé Shocks The World With Surprise Visual Album

We've heard of keeping up with the Joneses, but these days, trying to keep up with the Carters isn't an easy task. 

Ever the innovators, Jay Z and Beyoncé are closing out the new year with yet another left-field release, this time Bey's just-dropped, self-titled surprise album. That's right, after a year of speculation—and a round of single teasers ("Bow Down / I Been On," "Grown Woman" and "Standing In The Sun")—Queen Bey has released a brand new LP exclusively on iTunes tonight

The project, dubbed a visual album, is Bey's fifth studio endeavor that's been described as a "provocative, unguarded artistic statement" and features appearances from Jay Z ("Drunk in Love"), Drake ("Mine"), Pharrell, Timbaland, Michelle Williams, Kelly Rowland, Frank Ocean, Justin Timberlake, her own daughter Blue Ivy and plenty more. Beyoncé contains 14 tracks, as well as 16 (18 in total, including bonus video ["Grown Woman"] and credits) accompanying videos set against backdrops in Paris, Rio, New York, and Sydney.

Bey, who released her last album, 4, in 2011, was originally expected to release new material before her February Super Bowl halftime performance early this year. However, that time frame came and went, with all rumored recordings likely leading to today's release.

Mrs. Carter is currently entertaining audiences around the globe on her world tour, which is set to wrap up in Brooklyn on December 22 at the Barclays Center.

Head over to iTunes to unwrap the Queen's special holiday treat now.

Update #1: Via her record label, Beyoncé released a statement about the project. Read it below:

“I see music. It’s more than just what I hear. When I’m connected to something, I immediately see a visual or a series of images that are tied to a feeling or an emotion, a memory from my childhood, thoughts about life, my dreams or my fantasies. And they’re all connected to the music.

“I didn’t want to release my music the way I’ve done it. I am bored with that. I feel like I am able to speak directly to my fans. There’s so much that gets between the music, the artist and the fans. I felt like I didn’t want anybody to give the message when my record is coming out. I just want this to come out when it’s ready and from me to my fans.

“I just want to give my album to the people I love and respect and hope that they feel the same thing I felt when I made the music."

Update #2: Watch the first part of Bey's Self-Titled doc about the making of the project now.