Beyoncé may not have invented the surprise-drop album release, but she definitely perfected it. Before Queen Bey dropped her eponymous “visual album” in December 2013, other superstar artists had released albums with little-to-no anticipatory fanfare, but those releases—think Radiohead’s In Rainbows and The King of Limbs, which came out a few days after being announced—didn’t set a precedent. When Beyoncé released the fourteen songs, each accompanied by a fully realized music video, in the middle of the night in December 2013, she created a cultural moment that defined the era. Beyoncé quickly became the fastest-selling album in the history of iTunes, sold 600,000 digital copies in one week, and made the top of year-end lists at Billboard and L.A. Times in the last days of 2013—all without being available on streaming services. It…View Original Post
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