Beyoncé releases surprise album 'Beyoncé'

'Visual album' includes 14 tracks and 17 videos

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Beyoncé has released her new, self-titled album online overnight (December 13).

The US singer was not expected to release a follow up to her last album, '4', until 2014 but surprised fans by releasing the 'visual album' exclusively on iTunes. The album features 14 tracks and 17 videos, all of which are available immediately in order to prevent leaks. Guests on the album include Jay Z, Drake, Frank Ocean and Beyonce's daughter, Blue Ivy, on the song 'Blue'. Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie appears on the song 'Flawless'. A full tracklisting can be seen below.

On Blogs: Why Beyonce's Surprise Album Is The Most Stressful Release Ever

'Beyoncé' is the former Destiny's Child star's fifth album and her first since '4' was released in 2011. Every song on the album has also been given a video. 'Grown Woman', a promotional cut that Beyoncé performed during her Mrs. Carter world tour this year, is not featured on the album tracklisting but has a video, available through iTunes.

Videos for every track on the album are currently being previewed via Beyoncé's YouTube channel. Scroll down to see a preview of 'Drunk In Love' featuring Jay Z now. 30-second clips of all of the videos can be seen with full versions expected to be revealed shortly. Directors attached to the videos include Terry Richardson, Jake Nava, Hype Williams, Jonas Akerlund, Melina Matsoukas and Pierre Debusschere. Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams are expected to make a cameo appearance in one of the videos.

Billboard reports that iTunes "is expected to have a week-long exclusive on the album", before a retail release tentatively set for Saturday, December 21. The publication also claims that two tracks are expected to be announced as the lead singles for different formats next week.

In addition to the guest verses, Chairlift singer Caroline Polachek tweeted to reveal that she wrote and produced 'No Angel' on the album. Sia is credited to 'Pretty Lights' while Miguel ('Rocket'), Drake and Noah "40" Shebib ('Mine'), Hit-Boy ('Bey Reel') and Frank Ocean ('Superpower'), Ryan Tedder and The-Dream ('XO') as well as Justin Timberlake, Pharrell and Timbaland ('Blow') all feature on the star-studded album credits.

Speaking about the visual nature of the album, Beyoncé says: "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."

Earlier this week, the chairman of Beyoncé's record label claimed she would not release her album until 2014.

The 'Beyoncé' tracklisting is:

'Haunted'
'Pretty Hurts'
'Drunk in Love' (Featuring Jay Z)
'Blow/Cherry'
'Yoncé/Partition'
'Jealous'
'Rocket'
'Mine' (Featuring Drake)
'XO'
'Flawless' (Featuring Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie)
'Superpower' (Featuring Frank Ocean)
'Heaven'
'Blue' (Featuring Blue Ivy)


'Beyoncé' video list:

'Pretty Hurts' directed by Melina Matsoukas
'Ghost' directed by Pierre Debusschere
'Haunted' directed by Jonas Åkerlund
'Drunk in Love' directed by Hype Williams
'Blow' directed by Hype Williams
'Angel' directed by @lilinternet
'Yoncé' directed by Ricky Saiz
'Partition' directed by Jake Nava
'Jealous' directed by Beyoncé, Francesco Carrozzini & Todd Tourso
'Rocket' directed by Beyoncé, Ed Burke & Bill Kirstein
'Mine' directed by Pierre Debusschere
'XO' directed by Terry Richardson
'***Flawless' directed by Jake Nava
'Superpower' directed by Jonas Åkerlund
'Heaven' directed by Beyoncé & Todd Tourso
'Blue' directed by Beyoncé, Ed Burke & Bill Kirstein
'Grown Woman' directed by Jake Nava

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