Beyonce Beyonce

Clues We Missed on Beyonce's Album & How She Kept it All Under Wraps

Beyonce

Beyonce shocked the nation when we woke up Friday morning (December 13) to find a whole new album by Queen Bee. If we had been paying a little more attention though, we could have and should have seen that something was in the works. Beyonce gave us clues in the form of Instagram posts, talk of possible future work and even recording videos right before our very eyes (Coney Island, anyone?). So let us break it down for you and show you the clues that we failed to notice (and you probably did too) and give you a glimpse into how Mrs. Carter kept this album on the DL.

Beyonce

It all started in January when Beyonce told GQ magazine that she had already recorded 50 (that's right, f-i-f-t-y) songs for the follow up to her 2011 album 4 and was working with the likes of Pharrell, Timbaland and The Dream.

Photo Credit: Instagram.com

Then in March, we heard the Beyonce theme song, "Bow Down/I Been On" which was followed by "Grown Woman" and featured in her Pepsi commercial.

Video Credit: YouTube

Beyonce

Ne-Yo didn't help to put the hype or rumors to rest when he admitted in June that he was "putting stuff together for Beyonce's album".

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Beyonce

In August, we saw Beyonce filming a music video in Coney Island but no one knew what it was for. We now know that was filmed for her song (and video for) "XO"

Photo Credit: Instagram.com

In addition to all this, Beyonce dropped some subtle hints on social media.

There was this photo that she posted on Instagram that appeared in the video for "Blue":

Beyonce

Photo Credit: Instagram.com

And who could forget this adorable shot of Beyonce and her baby girl that she posted on Instagram which also appeared in the video for "Blue":

Beyonce and Blue Ivy

Photo Credit: Instagram.com

BeyonceJust a few weeks before her "surprise album" came out, Beyonce was spotted leaving an LA studio and sporting a Louis Vuitton ski mask with make-up that resembles her look for the "Superpower" video.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Beyonce

Lastly, on December 9, Rob Stringer, the chairman of Beyonce's record label, told Hits Daily Double, "At some point, Beyoncé will put a record out, and when she does, it will be monumental." That it was!

Photo Credit: Getty Images

 Beyonce

If you're wondering just how exactly she was able to pull this whole thing off, a source recently explained to Us Weekly that "Beyonce decided several months ago to release her album in this way but she didn't decide on this date until very recently, just a little bit ago," adding that the "XO" singer had been contemplating a surprise January release date. "Now just felt right, especially on Friday the 13." Everyone was sworn to secrecy as well. "Everyone agreed not to breathe a word or the plan would be ruined . . . One person leaking it would have destroyed the whole project. She wanted to reinvent the way we listened to albums. . . there was already so much interest in this project that it all built up perfectly. The few people involved that knew had to lie a little so it didn't blow the whole thing. It was worth it." It was definitely worth it as we find ourselves listening to this album on repeat and singing to every song. Looks like 2014 will be Beyonce's year as well and we just can't get enough.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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During her speech for the Rule Breaker award, singer-songwriter recalled today's climate, asking her peers and those watching at home for a little bit of peace.

"I'm sorry for the state of the world honestly, for everybody in this room and I pray that all of us just get through it a little bit easier and just try not to lash out at each other," she said.

The recurring theme of unity among women was also heard on the carpet from artists like Tierra Whack. In addition to her message of love, the "Broken Clocks" singer also thanked her TDE family for rocking with her creative process.

"I'm just so thankful for everybody having patience with me, " she said. Shouting out the key members of her family in attendance, the TDE affiliate gave praise to her mother, father, and grandma. In this brief speech centered around the artist's growth Solána Imani Rowe, known more commonly as her stage name, Rowe everyone for their trust in her.

"I'm grateful for everybody taking the time to have the patience to watch someone grow, it is painful and sometimes exciting but mostly boring. And I am thankful for Top (Top Dawg Entertainment's Anthony Tiffith) for not dropping me from that label. For Peter, who I change my ideas every day and he be like okay I like this," she continued.

Thanking the likes of musical powerhouses like Alicia Keys and Whack, "The Weekend" singer offered her appreciation and condolences to Ariana Grande.

Watch SZA accept the Rule Breaker award above.

READ MORE: Anderson .Paak, Tierra Whack And More Praise Female Artists At 2018 Billboard Women In Music

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Beyoncé, Rihanna, And J. Lo Make Forbes’ Highest-Paid Women In Music List

As November comes to a close, many publications will be crafting their year-end lists for all things pop culture. Forbes released a ranking of the world's highest-paid women in music on Monday (Nov. 19), with Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, and Rihanna holding it down for women of color.

Beyoncé comes in at No. 3 on the list with an earning of $60 million as she made most of her money through her historical Coachella performance, the joint album with husband JAY-Z, Everything is Love, and the Carters' On The Run II Tour in support of its release.

Jennifer Lopez made No. 6 for earnings tallying of over $47 million thanks to her lucrative Las Vegas residency, endorsements, and shows including World of Dance where she serves as a judge.

Rihanna follows behind the "Love Don't Cost A Thing" diva at No. 7 with earnings of over $37.5 million. Although she hasn't toured since 2016—thanks to her cosmetics and lingerie lines, Fenty Beauty and Savage Lingerie—the Bajan pop star has been keeping herself busy.

Forbes' annual list (which factors in pretax earnings from June 1, 2017, through June 1, 2018) has placed Katy Perry at the top with over $83 million in profits due to her gig as an American Idol judge and her 80-date Witness: The Tour that brought in an estimated $1 million per night.

Scroll down to see Forbes' full list below.

Katy Perry ($83 million) Taylor Swift ($80 million) Beyoncé ($60 million) P!nk ($52 million) Lady Gaga ($50 million) Jennifer Lopez ($47 million) Rihanna ($37.5 million) Helene Fischer ($32 million) Celine Dion ($31 million) Britney Spears ($30 million)

 

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Kelly Rowland Hops In Her Bag With New Single "Kelly"

Kelly Rowland has it all and isn't afraid to brag about it on her new single, "Kelly."

Released Thursday (Nov. 22), the singer goes the clubby, confident route while rightfully dropping her attributes like her relationship with God, smoldering looks (a.k.a the drip) among other things. With "Kelly" being the first single since her 2013's Talk a Good Game, the singer comes out swinging, reminding everyone of her power in the game.

The mother of one has promised that her new tunes will be edgier and most honest than her past work that included vulnerable tracks like "Dirty Laundry" and massive hits like "Motivation" and "Commander." Speaking with Vogue over the summer, Ms. Kelly disclosed a few details behind the album.

“It’s about love, loss, and gain and whether it’s professional or with family or whatever, it’s just honest," she said. "I had no choice but to be honest and authentic with this record: it’s about friendship and marriage.”

She also explained a drop in confidence caused her hiatus. “I was thinking about pulling back from recording, but I couldn’t help myself: I still wanted to record. I still felt like I was missing something. The third year just came and left so fast. The fourth year I said: ‘I have to get to work’ and now I’m ready to release some music! I felt like I wasted so much time, and it was my husband who actually called me out on it. He said: ‘Babe, as great as those records were, I think you were nervous, you got gun-shy’, and when he said that it was like boom, a gong went off.”

Glad to have you back, Ms. Kelly. Listen to the eponymous record up top.

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