Caitlin Rickard: Happy Beyonc-day to all

Over the weekend Beyoncé did something completely unprecedented. And that’s saying something considering she basically invented the word in the music industry.
Dec 18, 2013

Over the weekend Beyoncé did something completely unprecedented. And that’s saying something considering she basically invented the word in the music industry.

Though we don’t associate her as scary and she isn’t relatively unlucky in the least, leave it to Beyoncé to completely change the meaning Friday the 13th. From now and forever more, Dec. 13 will be Beyonc-day.

On Friday, Beyoncé, without word or warning, dropped her fifth studio album. Just like that. It literally was like it came out of thin air; one minute it wasn’t on iTunes and the next, it was.

And it’s only fitting that Queen Bey should drop her album like a stroke of magic, because after all, it is truly magical. I mean seriously I am genuinely shocked my head didn’t explode from sheer excitement and awe. 

The $15.99 album, which is self-titled Beyoncé, features 14 new tracks and is also referred to as a “visual album,” because, with purchase on iTunes, it also comes with 17 videos.

An even more interesting aspect was that there was no option to buy songs or videos as singles; it was all or nothing at release time. (Singles are available starting Dec. 20). Basically, if you wanted to hear Beyoncé’s best song, you had to accept her worst song, but let’s be real; there really is no bad Beyoncé song. 

Not only do consumers get Beyoncé though, the album features collaborations from the best in the business such as Drake, Frank Ocean, Bey’s hubby Jay-Z and daughter Blue Ivy. 

Yes, you read that right, the hip-hop moguls’ daughter, who doesn’t even turn one until January, is already featured on what’s sure to be the most talked about and most successful album of all-time… all before her first birthday.

And speaking of successful, according to the Huffington Post, “Beyoncé” sold more than 828,000 copies over the weekend, the fastest selling to ever hit iTunes. Billboard also reported that the album moved more than 80,000 copies in its first three hours. 

It was also reported that her album even shut iTunes down due to all the traffic, kind of like the blackout the Super Bowl experienced last year after her jaw-dropping performance at halftime. I guess Bey just has that effect.

Another interesting fact, according to reports, only a “handful of lucky people” (that includes high-level executives at her label, too) knew about the album.

For those skeptical on how Beyoncé went from diva and music icon to master manipulator and savvy businesswoman, let me explain how she pulled this secret album off. 

Moreover, let me let Beyoncé herself explain. In a press release shortly following the album’s drop, the queen of hip-hop just said she wanted to be different, and also she wanted to be closer with the fans.

“I didn’t want to release my music the way I’ve done it,” she said. “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.”

Caitlin Rickard is a staff writer with The Democrat. Email her at crickard@lebanondemocrat.com or follow her on Twitter @wilsonnewswritr.

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