CANADA
12/13/2013 00:37 EST | Updated 02/11/2014 05:59 EST

Beyoncé releases self-titled album

Singer Beyoncé Knowles released a self-titled album on iTunes early Friday morning.

At 12 a.m. ET, the album Beyoncé appeared on the iTunes website, surprising fans. Since the artist announced a 2014 world tour, rumours had been speculating Beyoncé​ would release an album in the coming months.

Beyoncé​ updated her Instagram account shortly after the album dropped.

"Surprise!" she wrote to accompany a video teaser for the new album, which has 14 songs and 17 videos.

"I didn't want to release my music the way I've done it," she said in a press release.  "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 husband and fellow musician, Jay-Z, is featured on the album. So is the couple's young daughter, Blue Ivy Carter.

Other collaborations include songs with Frank Ocean and Toronto's Drake.

This is Beyoncé's fifth studio album.