By Gerrick D. Kennedy
4:37 PM EST, December 16, 2013
Beyoncé’s sneak attack is paying off.
The singer's latest album, released with no advanced warning, has shattered iTunes' record for the largest sales week for an album.
In just three days, the self-titled recording logged more than 617,200 downloads in the U.S., according to Apple. The company also announced the album has sold 828,773 downloads across the globe as it quickly shot to No. 1 in more than 100 countries.
As much of the country was tucking into bed Thursday night, the singer casually announced that the album was available for purchase on Apple's storefront.
Currently an iTunes exclusive, the “visual” album boasts 14 new tracks and 17 accompanying music videos. In just three hours, 80,000 downloads were logged.
Beyoncé beat the previous one-week iTunes record set by Taylor Swift's massive "Red,” which sold 465,000 copies in October 2012, and she scored the biggest first week sales of 2013 for a female act.
A day after its release, “Beyoncé” topped the iTunes chart in 100 countries and had secured its seat atop this week’s Billboard 200. Though not officially announced until mid-week, Bey has guaranteed herself the No. 1 slot, a fifth consecutive debut for her.
The feat is all the more impressive considering she only had three days' worth of sales (the tracking week ends on Sunday), versus traditional release weeks, which typically begin with albums released on Tuesday.
On Monday, videos to the woozy, Jay Z-assisted “Drunk in Love” and radio-smash-in-waiting “XO” officially premiered on Vevo.
A double disc CD/DVD is expected to be available as early as Wednesday, and individual tracks will become available for download Dec. 20.
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