Last Friday, at midnight, Beyoncé stunned the world. The pop icon dropped a brand-new self-titled album—14 songs and 17 accompanying music videos—all without a hint of prior promotion. It marked something of a music-industry coup. Apple is reporting that “Beyoncé” is iTunes’ fastest-selling digital album, with more than 800,000 sold in just three days. More importantly, the album is the culmination of a more than a year-long, globe-trotting, top-secret undertaking—one that drove Beyoncé’s team to its personal and professional limits.
What we could never have predicted was the sheer size of the wrecking ball she slammed into the industry. No promotion, no single release weeks, nothing; she must’ve been sitting at home with Blue, thinking “tonight’s the night,” hit some approval button, and watched as the Internet exploded (or as one clever Facebook user put it, “exployoncé’d”) before her. Jay probably nodded, whispered a sweet “yes, baby,” before dozing off while the world tried to collect itself.
Beyoncé combines the raw honesty of 4 with I Am…Sasha Fierce’s bold as love, I-don’t-care-if-anyone-sees attitude. Speaking of Sasha Fierce, she called up Beyoncé’s new ego, Yoncé, and asked why she had to go and steal her light. Anyway, Bey has concocted a new sound that’s different enough to be progressive, but comfortable enough to let her audience know that she’s still the queen they’ve come to dub her. It’s an album of femininity, an album of womanhood. BEYONCÉ will rock you, uplift you, and bring the fierce, sexually empowered being that lives inside of you out.
The surprise project was a notable milestone even with the previously reported number. It’s the highest-selling album from a female artist to come out this year by far. It’s also the highest-selling project since Taylor Swift’s ‘Red’ sold 1.2 million in 2012.