Releasing an entire album and seventeen accompanying music videos with no warning is no small feat, as Billboard explains in one of the first of what will be many pieces on the subject of how, exactly, Beyoncé pulled off this particular feat of brilliance and badassness. Executives involved spoke anonymously to the magazine, explaining that Beyoncé the album started taking shape in late October, as Beyoncé the performer was "narrowing down songs that fit the more minimalist approach." The self-titled work had Bey "working on the vocals and production until the week of Thanksgiving," when producers were told of final cuts.
Then late last week, final meetings were held with Columbia, Parkwood (Beyonce’s management company) and iTunes to finalize plans for the album, which was code-named Lily to avoid leaks. Another final meeting announcing the album to employees and producers was held at Columbia yesterday, Dec. 12. Only the most senior executives at iTunes, the album’s exclusive distributor until a planned physical release on Dec. 21, were clued in on the plans.
This was all due to Beyoncé's mission to bring back "that immersive experience...of watching music videos like Michael Jackson’s Thriller as a family, as a mass event." Considering she made the internet freak out like it never has before yesterday, we’d say it’s more than accomplished.