Christmas comes early for Beyoncé fans. In the biggest surprise move of the year, the pop superstar quietly released her fifth studio album to iTunes on Friday.
“Surprise!” tweeted Bey moments after the midnight launch.
The visual album, simply titled BEYONCÉ, features 14 songs and 17 videos, with contributions from Jay Z, Drake, Justin Timberlake, Frank Ocean, Pharrell, Timbaland, Kelly Rowland, Michelle Williams, and even her daughter Blue Ivy.
The videos were shot throughout the world in New York, Paris, Sydney, and Rio de Janeiro during her worldwide “Mrs. Carter Show World Tour.”
“I didn’t want to release my music the way I’ve done it,” said Bey. “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.”
She has also premiered the first part of “Self-Titled,” a mini documentary feature that offers a glimpse into the entire project. It details her mind-set and artistic vision throughout the making of BEYONCÉ.
See the tracklisting below and head to iTunes to get your copy for $15.99. Individual songs will be available for purchase on December 20.
Jay-Z assembles an all-star cast for the soundtrack to The Great Gatsby. The Roc Nation mogul, who serves as executive producer of the film and soundtrack, has worked closely with writer/producer/director Baz Luhrmann on the eclectic project over the past two years, blending the Jazz Age sensibility of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel with hip-hop and traditional jazz.
“The Great Gatsby is that classic American story of one’s introduction to extravagance, decadence, and illusion,” said Jay-Z. “It’s ripe for experimentation and ready to be interpreted with a modern twist. The imagination Baz brought to Moulin Rouge! made it a masterpiece, and Romeo + Juliet’s score wasn’t just in the background; the music became a character. This film’s vision and direction has all the makings of an epic experience.”
Jay-Z’s own “No Church in the Wild” is included in the film, along with a new song entitled “100$ Bill.” The first single will be the haunting “Young and Beautiful” by Lana Del Rey.
The diverse lineup also includes original music from Fergie, Q Tip, Florence + The Machine, and will.i.am. Beyoncé and André 3000 duet on a cover of Amy Winehouse’s “Back to Black,” Emeli Sandé remakes Beyoncé’s “Crazy in Love,” and Jack White reinterprets U2′s “Love Is Blindness.”
The soundtrack arrives on May 7, while the movie hits theaters on May 10. See the tracklisting and hear a clip of “Back to Black” in the trailer below.
The Great Gatsby Soundtrack
1. “100$ Bill” – Jay-Z