Published Friday, 13 December 2013
The singer avoided the usual fanfare surrounding a new record, instead simply alerting followers to the release via social networking sites Facebook and Instagram.
The self-titled work, her fifth solo offering and first studio album since 2011's 4, included 14 new tracks - including collaborations with her husband, Jay Z, rapper Drake and Frank Ocean.
Her daughter, Blue Ivy, also makes an appearance on the track Blue.
The record is a visual album and each track has its own video.