Fans around the world were completely blindsided when Beyoncé released her fifth studio album last Thursday evening.
The self-titled, 14-track album was only available on iTunes at approximately midnight and completely went against the way music is usually released.
Bey squashed traditional new music procedures, going without any hype, social media presence or promotions for the new body of work entirely.
So why did she keep such a shroud of secrecy around her latest project?
According to multiple reports, only a handful of lucky people knew about Bey's plans to drop the album last week. In fact, only a dozen executives at her music label were privy to the info.
And aside from preventing often times inevitable leaks, the "Grown Woman" singer wanted to make sure her fans received the new material directly from her.
Beyoncé has been pretty clear about her intentions to change the way music is received. In a clip on her Facebook page, released after the album dropped, she told fans, "I didn't want to release my music the way I've done it."
"I am bored with that. I feel like I'm 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 that message when my record is coming out. I just want this to come out when it's ready from me to my fans."
She added, "I wanted everyone to see the whole picture and see how personal everything is for me. I would make my best art and just put it out."
And boy, did she do just that. Take a glimpse at her bikini-clad dance moves in the video for "Drunk in Love" (featuring Jay Z, of course).
What's your fave track on the album? Tell us below!