Music

Beyoncé releases new iTunes-exclusive album

Mesfin Fekadu

Beyoncé has released her new album in an unconventional way: she announced and dropped it on the same day.

Beyoncé. (AP)

The singer released Beyoncé exclusively on iTunes early on Friday. She mirrors how Jay Z released Magna Carta Holy Grail earlier this year – through a deal with Samsung where he gave the album to 1-million users of Galaxy mobile phones days before its official release.

Beyoncé's fifth effort features 14 songs and 17 videos. Jay Z, Drake and Frank Ocean make guest appearances on the album, while the closing track, Blue, features her daughter Blue Ivy.

Justin Timberlake co-wrote the songs Rocket and Partition, and Pharrell, Timbaland, Ryan Tedder, Miguel and Sia also co-wrote tracks.

The album caused a stir on social media websites, with fans posting about the release early on Friday morning. Twitter said early data shows mentions of Beyoncé spiked by 500 000-plus tweets after she announced the album. Diddy, Alicia Keys and Demi Lovato were among the celebrities tweeting about the topic.

Beyoncé calls the work a "visual album" and she filmed some of the videos in Paris, New York, Sydney, Rio de Janeiro and Houston, her hometown. "I didn't want to release my music the way I've done it," she said in a statement.

"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."

Beyoncé's previous album was 4 released in 2011. It reached platinum success. Beyoncé will be available in stores "in time for the holidays", her representative said. – Sapa-AP

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