Birthday Girl Beyonce’s Biggest Surprises, From Her Pregnancies to Music

The Beyhive likely never expected Beyoncé to become the reigning queen of surprises, but that she is.

Since 2011, Queen Bey has been sending her dedicated legion of fans into overdrive with the many unexpected twists and turns in both her personal and professional lives. To date, she has surprise-announced four albums, two films and two pregnancies in ways that no one else could.


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It all started at the MTV Video Music Awards in August 2011. When Beyoncé took the stage to perform her single “Love on Top,” the star-studded audience had no idea that she had something up her sleeve — or someone in her belly. At the end of the song, she dropped her microphone, unbuttoned her sparkly purple jacket and rubbed her stomach, revealing she was pregnant with her and husband Jay-Z’s first child.

Two years later, the Grammy winner broke the internet when she basically invented the strategy of dropping a full album without any prior announcement. Her eponymous fifth record, which included the singles “XO” and “Drunk in Love,” shattered multiple records, and she similarly went on to surprise-release three more albums, most notably 2016’s Lemonade.


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Beyoncé took a page out of her own book in February 2017 when she shared the news of her second pregnancy, this time with twins. Her stunning Instagram announcement quickly became the social media platform’s most-liked post of all time, though Kylie Jenner’s first photo of daughter Stormi and advertising creative Chris Godfrey’s “World Record Egg” eventually surpassed it.

The former Destiny’s Child member’s latest surprise came in April 2019 in two forms: a Netflix concert film titled Homecoming and an accompanying live album documenting her 2018 Coachella performance.

Scroll down to take a look back at Beyoncé’s biggest surprises so far!

‘Beyoncé’ Album

The pop superstar’s critically acclaimed fifth effort, released in December 2013, was described as a “visual album.” Each song was accompanied by a short film on iTunes, where Beyoncé became the fastest-selling album in the digital store’s history.

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‘Lemonade’ Film and Album

Two months after releasing her song “Formation,” Beyoncé debuted her second visual album. The 65-minute Lemonade film aired on HBO in April 2016, with the audio dropping on the music streaming service Tidal at the same time. Lemonade was available to purchase via digital retailers the next day, and finally hit all streaming sites in April 2019 with the original demo of “Sorry” as a bonus track.

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Second Pregnancy

The Ivy Park cofounder sent Instagram users into a frenzy in February 2017 when she announced that she was expecting twins, whom she named Rumi and Sir. “We would like to share our love and happiness. We have been blessed two times over,” she captioned a photo of herself cradling her baby bump. “We are incredibly grateful that our family will be growing by two, and we thank you for your well wishes.”

VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images

‘Everything Is Love’ Album

Beyoncé and Jay-Z dropped their long-rumored joint album, Everything Is Love, after a concert in the U.K. in June 2018. They ended the show by premiering their “Apes–t” music video on London Stadium’s big screens, concluding with the words, “ALBUM OUT NOW.”

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‘Homecoming’ Film and Live Album

The entertainer documented her 2018 headlining gig at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in an April 2019 film. Homecoming: The Live Album was released at the same time as the documentary, with no prior announcement. It included two new tracks, including a cover of Maze’s “Before I Let Go.”

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‘The Lion King: The Gift’ Album

Disney delighted Beyoncé fans in July 2019 when it announced that she curated and executive produced The Lion King: The Gift, an album that pays tribute to “the iconic film and bring[s] the authentic sounds of African music to the world.” The singer (who voices Nala in the remake) released the first single, “Spirit,” on the night of the movie’s Los Angeles premiere. “This is sonic cinema,” she said in a press release. “This is a new experience of storytelling. I wanted to do more than find a collection of songs that were inspired by the film. It is a mixture of genres and collaboration that isn’t one sound. It is influenced by everything from R&B, pop, hip-hop and Afro Beat.”

Kwaku Alston for Disney Studios

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