Beyonce's New Album Gets Surprise Release This Morning

(Radio.com) Just as music fans are wrapping up the year and looking ahead to 2014 comes a reminder that it's not over 'til the Queen Bey sings. Shortly after midnight on Friday (December 13), Beyonce released her fifth album exclusively to iTunes with zero warning. The self-titled set is comprised of 14 songs and 17 videos, with all components available only through full album purchase.

There are familiar collaborators and friends present on Beyonce, including hubby Jay Z, Frank Ocean, Drake and even baby girl Blue Ivy. "I didn't want to release my music the way I've done it," Knowles said in a press release issued shortly after the album appeared on iTunes. "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."

Not only is the emphasis on the full-length format (Bey calls it a "visual album"), there have been no singles from Beyonce released. The new songs Bey previewed throughout 2013 in Pepsi and H&M ads, online and even on her tour "Grown Woman," "Standing on the Sun," "Grown Woman / I Been On" and "God Made You Beautiful" are not even on the album.

Billboard reports that "XO," co-written by Ryan Tedder and The-Dream, is the rumored lead single, though no announcements of any sort have been made by Bey or her label, Columbia Records. more on this story

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