All about Queen Bey

B is for Beyonce, which has been the buzzword that took the online music world by storm last Friday.

B is also for brilliant, which is the only way to describe what she did to cause such mania.

Just when we thought we had to wait indefinitely for her new music since 4 in 2011, the US pop superstar, 32, surprised us all - even the music industry's closest watchers - with the simultaneous announcement and release of her fifth album Beyonce. It is available only on iTunes for $US$15.99 (S$20).

No pre-hype, no marketing and publicity campaign, not a single clue in the run-up.

The result?

Oh, only about 1.2 million tweets in 12 hours, 430,000 copies sold in just over a day and a likely No. 1 debut on the Billboard 200 chart next week.

How did she manage to keep something so big a secret in this day and age of rampant piracy and leaks?

Even more astounding, it is a "visual album" - probably her sexiest to date (check out the close-up of her butt!) - that is packed with not just 14 songs but 17 music videos.

All that material and we had no idea she was hard at work in the studio to begin with.

The Grammy-winning singer had said in a statement: "Now people only listen to a few seconds of a song on the iPods and they don't really invest in the whole experience.

"It's all about the single, and the hype. There's so much that gets between the music and the art and the fans.

"I felt like, I don't want anybody to get 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."

As a fan of Queen Bey, I am still having trouble taking it all in even after five days.

It was such a well-thought out strategy, shrouded in such secrecy that there was little chance it could fail.

According to Billboard magazine, her methods included shifting code names (the album was once named Lily), a flexible release date that was confirmed only last week and telling only the most senior of iTunes executives about the digital drop.

LEARN FROM THE B

Her songs cannot be leaked if no one knew she had any in the first place (Katy Perry and Lady Gaga, take note.)

While she made herself sound like she has been busy touring, vacationing with her family and sticking to a 22-day diet plan with her US rapper husband Jay Z, Beyonce was actually making the album happen as recently as Thanksgiving at the end of last month.

And she made sure she had a team she could trust so as not to spoil the surprise.

It is quite a feat that masses were kept in the dark, considering she teamed up with big names like Jay Z, Timbaland, Justin Timberlake, Pharrell Williams, Drake, Frank Ocean and Ryan Tedder.

She basically had all her bases covered.

Beyonce acknowledged that we are slaves to technology and took advantage of that fact, making the buying of her new music effortless and immediate.

Case in point: Yours truly.

I had never made a single iTunes purchase before this, but the need to lay my claws - now, right now! - on her early Christmas gift to fans made me one of the thousands who bought the hype.

Beyonce's latest move also showed that she is truly a leader in the game and that she was not going to follow the likes of Timberlake and racy US pop singers Miley Cyrus and Lady Gaga for promotional strategy inspiration.

Two-part album? Endless TV and radio appearances? Appear nearly nude on stage over and over again? She's above that and knows better than to tyre her audience.

Beyonce also gave everyone absolutely nothing to talk about until she and her product were ready, which might sound like the worst idea to most of her attention-seeking peers.

But will it backfire?

Nope, just sit back and watch her spread like wildfire.

Share your views with Ashikin at

ashikinr@sph.com.sg

Our top 5 video picks from new album Beyonce

YONCÉ

Here's further proof that Queen Bey's former alter ego Sasha Fierce is long dead and gone.

Enter the brand new Yoncé in this highly-sexualised clip. She's in a black fringe bustier, seductively licking a multi-coloured lollipop and then smoking a cigar.

The sizzling Yoncé is joined by three equally hot sidekicks - models Jourdan Dunn, Joan Smalls and Chanel Iman - all clad in equally skimpy outfits and striking provocative poses.

But no one is stealing Beyonce's thunder - she outshines them all simply by grinding against a brick wall.

BLOW

It's hard to resist a throwback to the good old 80s with disco lights and mismatched bright outfit combinations.

It is a different age, but Beyonce still rules in a tiger-striped fur coat thrown over her tights and halter bra.

After an outfit change and shod in roller skates, she goes on to shake her booty in front of the lockers.

BLUE FEATURING BLUE IVY

This is a song-and-video combination that will make hearts melt.

Beyonce's daughter Blue Ivy, who turns one next month, makes an appearance here and is adorable in her mum's arms, on a beach, reportedly in Brazil.

A full video, which was reportedly released and then taken down, showed more scenes with Blue Ivy at the beach as Beyonce swings her around and the pair engage in some sweet mother-daughter bonding.

At the end of the song, Blue Ivy reportedly coos and giggles - aww.

DRUNK IN LOVE FEATURING JAY Z

This black-and-white video leaves nothing lurking in the shadows.

We can see everything - from Beyonce on her knees swaying sensually from side-to-side, windswept hair across her face to her frolicking on the sand, bootylicious bum in full view.

Dressed in a mesh outfit that covers her essential bits, it shows off her great figure and plenty of skin.

I have two questions, though.

What is she doing at the beach in the dead of the night?

And why is she holding a massive trophy over her head?

PRETTY HURTS

Beyonce is a beauty queen here - Miss 3rd Ward (a reference to the Houston neighbourhood where she grew up), to be exact.

And not only is she insecure about her body, she is also ostracised by her skinny, picture-perfect competitors.

Do they not know who she really is?

Wearing a two-piece that again flaunts her curves, Beyonce has her thighs patted as she sucks in her stomach and has her jawline prodded.

"Pretty hurts", she sings over and over again.

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