Beyonce stunned fans on Thursday night (12Dec13) by unexpectedly releasing an album on iTunes.

The Crazy in Love hitmaker 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.