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New York (AFP) – American singer Beyonce surprised her fans Friday by releasing her previously unannounced fifth solo album on iTunes.

The self-titled album has 14 new songs and 17 videos and is available exclusively through the Apple online music store, her record label said in a statement.

“I didn’t want to release my music the way I’ve done it (in the past),” Beyonce said in the statement.

“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.”

Her label, Sony, said the surprise, Internet-only release was also a way of stopping pre-release leaks of her new material.

A hard copy, double CD/DVD of the album will be available in stores before Christmas, it said.

Collaborators on the new album include Timbaland, Justin Timberlake, Pharell Williams, Drake, and Beyonce’s husband, Jay Z.

AFP Photo/Timothy A. Clary 

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