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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 

Amy Coney Barrett

Photo from Fox 45 Baltimore/ Facebook

Donald Trump will select U.S. Appeals Court Judge Amy Coney Barrett as his Supreme Court pick Saturday, multiple news outlets confirmed with White House officials on Friday — and the outlook couldn't be more bleak for reproductive rights, LGBTQ rights, immigration, and the future of health care in the United States.

According to the New York Times, Trump "will try to force Senate confirmation before Election Day."

"The president met with Judge Barrett at the White House this week and came away impressed with a jurist that leading conservatives told him would be a female Antonin Scalia," the Times reported.

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