NEW YORK — Beyonce has released her new album in an unconventional way: She announced and dropped it on the same day.
The singer released “Beyonce” exclusively on iTunes early Friday. She mirrors how Jay Z released “Magna Carta Holy Grail” earlier this year through a deal with Samsung that gave the album to 1 million users of Galaxy mobile phones days before its official release.
Beyonce’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 Friday morning. Twitter said Beyonce’s album release generated over 1.2 million tweets in 12 hours, with a tweets-per-minute spike of 5,300. The tweets-per-minute count around the album surpassed the record set when the Syfy TV movie “Sharknado” aired in July, Twitter added.
Billboard said Friday that “Beyonce” will likely debut on top of its charts next week.
Beyonce 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 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,” she said in a statement.