The reigning queen of American entertainment hasn't released a full-length album since 2011's 4.
Appearances in a Pepsi ad and at last February's Super Bowl hinted at new music, but no one expected Beyonce to release an album without any pre-promotion -- no reviews, no album release date and no pre-release singles.
"Surprise!" the 32-year-old singer captioned an Instagram video announcing the album at midnight on Friday.
Described as a "visual album," the self-titled project features 14 new tracks and 17 "complementary videos" that “unfold amid an international backdrop of New York, Paris, Sydney and Rio de Janeiro."
"I didn't want to release my music the way I've done it," Beyonce said in a statement accompanying the release. "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."
Here's the full track list:
1. Pretty Hurts
3. Drunk in Love (feat. Jay Z)
5. No Angel
9. Mine (feat. Drake)
11. ***Flawless (feat. Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche)
12. Superpower (feat. Frank Ocean)
14. Blue (feat. Blue Ivy)