If anyone understands the element of surprise, it’s Beyonce Knowles!
The songstress dropped her highly-anticipated fifth studio album on iTunes last night and the world didn’t have the slightest inkling it was coming. With 14 new songs and 17 videos, the 32-year-old proved just why we call her the Queen Bey!
So how exactly did Beyonce pull off a top-secret album and sell 80,000 copies in three hours with no marketing? Syd Schwartz, a former EMI Music executive said “she obviously had to bypass a lot of the standard mechanisms to make this work.”
“Many other artists who aren’t of Beyoncé’s stature would not have been able to get this done and move it through the system this quickly,” Schwartz told Rolling Stone. “The hard part is keeping it a secret, when you’re Beyoncé’s size…A very small number of people in her inner circle must have known about this.”
Apparently, even people who worked on project had no idea Beyonce was pulling this stunt. Caroline Polachek, writer and producer for the album’s fifth track “No Angel,” said, “I had no clue it was coming.”
“I never heard the final version ’til last night,” she revealed.
Toronto songwriter and producer Noah “40” Shebib, who mixed and mastered “Mine” featuring Drake, said Beyoncé’s people “were pressuring” him to finish the record “immediately.”
“And sure enough, they weren’t joking,” he said. “My manager called me last night, ‘It’s out! Beyoncé!’ We’re all just pulling out iTunes.”
According to TMZ, dancer Morgan Hebert said she “knew she was involved in some kind of video project for the singer when they were filming in Houston in September, but she didn’t know exactly what.”
She said they shot the video for “Blow” very last minute and everyone had to sign a confidentiality agreement. Also, no cell phones or pictures were allowed on set.
“It was brilliant,” Shebib added. “You spend no marketing dollars, essentially. To hold that together and not let that out of the bag is very, very impressive. It’s not easy to do…Everybody was surprised. Everybody. It wasn’t just the fans.”
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PRESS PLAY: Beyonce Drops 17 New Music Videos! [WATCH]
1. Get Your Life & Get the Preview! Beyoncé's Visual Album
Beyonce snatched the the Internet's whole entire lives when she dropped an visual album, December 14, with 14 tracks and 17 sexy new music videos (no, seriously, the album sold 80,000 copies in 3 hours!). Get a 30 second preview of the visuals everyone's buzzing about!
2. "Pretty Hurts"
No matter what people say, we love Queen Bey when she sings a song about flaws, even though we really don't think she has any. Like, at all.
Bey is serving Josephine Baker badness. Get into those finger waves, suga! We're not looking at the 1920s the same again.
We're still scratching our heads over this video. From the black drapey thing to the two Beyonces, this was a lot. We still love her anyway, though.
5. "Drunk In Love" featuring Jay Z
We know this is gonna bump on every radio station. Hopefully, it'll be still hot enough to bump on the beach. Yes, beach!
If we could rollerskate, we'd be playing this until we get our skills down. Just know that Beyonce's red lip will always be glossier than yours. Always.
7. "No Angel"
This video is pretty unexpected, from the gangsta grills to Bey's all-white 'fit. But, we live for her hair flips.
Joan Smalls. Chanel Iman. Bad chicks are the only ones allowed in Bey's world and we're waiting in line.
This is probably the sexiest vid we've seen from the whole project and we can't help but think of Ciara when she had this moment with Future in her video. But, Bey proves she can do it with Jay, too.
Bey continues with her lace realness with this little gem. Ooop, is that a grill that we see peaking through those teeth?!
This video is definitely giving us a lot of skin. Literally. We want to land on a bed like Bey.
12. "Mine" featuring Drake
Queen Beyonce or Sister Beyonce? We're living for the regal white realness. She's so angelic.
Remember when she was at Coney Island over the summer and we didn't know why she was there? Oh, Bey, you're so clever. How did your hat not fall off on that rollercoaster, though?
14. "***Flawless" featuring Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Even when Beyonce is gangsta, she's flawless. We especially love that fact that Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was featured on this track.
15. "Superpower" featuring Frank Ocean
This definitely seems like a 'Girls' video sequel because it's giving the same apocalyptic war vibe. Sidenote: underboob!
We were in tears right along with Bey while watching this video. It goes from a happy moment many of us dream about to a sad one that's difficult to forget.
17. "Blue" featuring Blue Ivy
We've seen so many pictures of Blue, we sometimes forget that she probably, I don't know, speaks. This video blesses us with Blue's sweet little voice. Our ovaries are overloaded.