It seems that the forthcoming full album from Beyoncé, RENAISSANCE, surfaced online around 36 hours before its release, which was planned to take place on Thursday at midnight.
The leak was widely discussed on social media, and trusted news publication Variety was able to uncover high-quality audio files that sound like the album within minutes. According to a few online postings, CDs of the album were on sale throughout Europe.
Beyoncé’s representatives and Columbia Records, the album’s distributor, have not responded to Variety’s inquiries. Beyonce has a reputation for keeping her private life under wraps, so the disclosure came as a surprise. To provide one example, her 2013 self-titled album was unexpectedly released.
“Break My Soul” was released as the first song from the upcoming project RENAISSANCE earlier this summer. In a recent post on Instagram, Beyoncé said that she established the album as a place of sanctuary from the outside world. The song is heavily influenced by the house genre’s 1990 smash “Show Me Love” by Robin S. Additional vocals and a sample from Big Freedia’s 2014 album, “Explode,” are also included.
The global music icon just posted a picture of the album’s packaging on Instagram, and you can see it here. Later this week, the official album will be released.