TIME Media

Beyonce’s Latest Album Is Finally on Spotify

2014 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals
Singer Beyonce Knowles attends the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on August 24, 2014 in Inglewood, California. Jason Merritt—2014 Getty Images

Spotify gets a big release following Taylor Swift's exodus

It took nearly a year, but Beyonce’s self-titled album is finally available on Spotify.

A platinum edition of Beyonce with a six new remixes and bonus tracks is now available on the music streaming service. The album, released as a surprise last December, was originally only available as an iTunes exclusive but was later released on CD as well. Spotify previously only had a couple of big singles from the album available to stream.

Landing Beyonce could help Spotify improve what’s been a very rough November. Taylor Swift removed her entire catalogue from the service while very vocally questioning whether Spotify’s model compensates artists appropriately for their work. Later, a Sony Music executive expressed doubts about Spotify’s ability to convert free users into paying customers, saying Swift’s exodus had sparked “a lot of conversation.” Spotify believes its free version is critical to eventually convincing users to purchase premium subscriptions and says its royalty payouts will continue to grow as it gains more customers.

For Beyonce, releasing her album on Spotify could help it land higher on the album charts. Billboard just announced that it will begin including songs played on music streaming services in its weekly album rankings. That could help Beyonce unseat 1989, Swift’s blockbuster release that has topped the charts for three straight weeks.

 

TIME Music

Beyonce Dances Around in Her Underwear in New Music Video ’7/11′

I'm spinning, I'm spinning, I'm spinning

Beyonce’s new music video was released, unannounced, on Friday, and has predictably already garnered more than 2.6 million views in less than a day.

Called “7/11,” the video features the singer in grainy video dancing in her underwear in what appear to be hotel rooms, evoking a kind of homemade quality. Several other women wearing underwear make an appearance, too, and it looks like the grooviest slumber party you’ve never been invited to.

“7/11” and another new track called “Ring Off” are both featured on the boxed-set reissue of “Beyonce” which will be released on Monday.

TIME Music

Beyoncé’s New Song ‘Ring Off’ Isn’t About Her Marriage After All

Beyonce Knowles, Tina Knowles
From left, U.S designer Tina Knowles and U.S singer Beyonce Knowles, launch their collection House of Dereon, featuring both the Autum-Winter and Summer 2011 collections, in London, during London Fashion week, Saturday, Sept. 17, 2011. (AP Photo/Jonathan Short) Jonathan Short—ASSOCIATED PRESS

The singer tells Tina Knowles to put her "love on top"

When it was announced, the title of Beyonce’s new song “Ring Off” was widely interpreted as a potential explanation of the ongoing rumors around her marriage to Jay Z. What the singer has produced instead is a moving tribute to her mother, Tina.

“Ring Off” is one of two new songs on the re-release of Beyoncé (both are streaming at Spin). That album’s middle-of-the-night release last year was almost as surprising as its complex, adult themes, dealing with themes of marriage and motherhood. Beyoncé was about, well, Beyoncé, within the context of her relationship. “Ring Off” expands the focus, addressing “Mama” in the first verse and telling her “I understand your many sleepless nights / When you sit and you think about Father / Or how you tried to be the perfect wife.”

Tina and Mathew Knowles, Beyoncé’s parents, separated in 2009 and are now divorced; Beyoncé has since severed professional ties with her father, who’s gone on to make provocative statements about his daughter’s personal life. But “Ring Off” isn’t about intra-family strife, despite the fact its very title references ending a marriage. It’s a celebration of Tina Knowles’s newfound independence, telling her to put her “love on top,” a witty reversal of Beyoncé’s own song of the same title. The song “Love on Top,” a fan favorite, is a celebration of prioritizing marital love; Beyoncé telling her mother “it’s your time to put your love on top” is an encouragement to put herself and her own happiness first.

Beyoncé’s first album, Dangerously in Love, concludes with “Daddy,” a saccharine tribute to Matthew Knowles that includes the lyric “I want my unborn son to be like my daddy / I want my husband to be like my daddy.” It’s a sign of the singer’s evolution in the eleven years since “Daddy” that she now ends the Beyoncé era with a tribute to her mother: “Always know that you’ve got a daughter / That’s so, so proud you took the high road,” she sings in “Ring Off.” What her father is or is not like doesn’t enter the equation, here; what’s most important is a woman’s own happiness and independence. It’s the musical equivalent of the message sent by the most memorable photo from Solange Knowles’s recent wedding, in which rows of staunch-looking woman stare down the camera. In the Knowles family, now, gender equality is paramount.

“7/11,” Beyoncé’s other new song, is less apt for analysis: It’s a ready-made club hit whose clear influences from Southern rap are more interesting than the lyrics. But with “Ring Off,” Beyoncé’s made a big step forward. Her album was about how fulfilling, if frustrating, it is to be in a long-term monogamous relationship. That album now features an examination of the circumstances under which it’s better to be alone, and an amplification of the album’s theme. The fulfillments of marriage, and of single life, both stem from putting herself first.

TIME Music

Beyoncé Raps and Celebrates Mom on Two New Tracks

"On The Run Tour: Beyonce And Jay-Z" - Houston
Beyonce performs during the "On The Run Tour: Beyonce And Jay-Z" at Minute Maid Park on July 18, 2014 in Houston, Texas. Larry Busacca—WireImage/Getty Images

Streams for the two bangers are already online

Both the new singles from the upcoming deluxe release of Beyoncé’s self-titled album have already hit the web.

In “7/11,” an auto-tuned Bey lays down a commanding, mantra-like rap over a warped beat, while “Ring Off” delivers a completely different vibe. An ode to her mother, “Ring Off” is also an emotional recap of Mama Knowles’ recent divorce: “You used to dress and fix your hair/ Then you’d smile through your tears/ In the mirror you would stare and say a prayer.”

For those who can’t wait for the platinum edition of Beyoncé’s latest album, the two bangers can be streamed here.

TIME Music

Hear Part of Beyoncé’s New Song ’7/11′

Beyonce
Beyoncé Jordan Strauss—Invision/AP

Put your hands up — the Shazam app says it's real

New Beyoncé music is imminent, but it’s closer than fans might think. Following reports that Bey’s new single “7/11″ would hit radio waves next week, when her Beyoncé Platinum Edition Box Set drops, an apparent snippet of that song hit the Internet on Wednesday.

Her fans have been burned before when it comes to rumors of new releases, but the clip certainly sounds like Beyoncé, albeit more auto-tuned than usual. It also sounds like the beat could come from “Drunk in Love” producer Detail, whose name (Noel Fisher) has appeared in purported credits. BuzzFeed ran it through the song-identification app Shazam — and so did we — which strongly suggests it’s authentic.

TIME celebrities

Solange Knowles Marries Alan Ferguson

Musician Solange Knowles (L) and her fiancee, music video director Alan Ferguson, are seen outside the Indywood Cinema in New Orleans on Nov. 14, 2014.
Musician Solange Knowles (L) and her fiancee, music video director Alan Ferguson, are seen outside the Indywood Cinema in New Orleans on Nov. 14, 2014. Josh Brasted—GC Images/Getty Images

She’s a married woman!

Solange Knowles tied the knot with video director Alan Ferguson in New Orleans on Sunday in front of about 200 family and friends, PEOPLE confirms.

The happy couple said “I do” at the Marigny Opera House in New Orleans. Around 2 p.m., the pair arrived via white-painted vintage bicycles, and it was all about the details: The bride’s basket held flowers!

“Beaming. Calm. They looked pretty calm, relaxed on their wedding day,” one onlooker tells PEOPLE. “Definitely happy.”

As for their arrival attire, the bride rocked a cream pantsuit with a cape and plunging V-neck (accenting her look with a red lip) by Stéphane Rolland, while the groom matched in a white suit sans tie.

Meanwhile, big sis Beyoncé pulled up about 15 minutes later in a black SUV, with husband Jay Z and daughter Blue Ivy in tow. Mom Tina Knowles, son Daniel Julez and singer Janelle Monae also attended.

Ahead of their nuptials, the newlyweds celebrated with an intimate pre-wedding bash Friday at NOLA’s Indywood Cinema, which Hayley Sampson, the theater’s co-owner, told PEOPLE, “was pretty adorable.”

“Luckily, I dated all of the losers ages ago,” she told Harper’s Bazaar earlier this year. “My love life has been stable for a while. It’s a f–––ed up thing … without conflict it’s a lot harder to write interesting songs.”

In June, the two went on a romantic getaway to Jamaica, where the singer celebrated her 28th birthday.

Ferguson, 51, has directed videos for Katy Perry and John Legend, and won a BET Award for Best Video Director for co-directing Beyoncé’s “Party” and “Dance for You” music videos.

This is the second marriage for the private star, who had Daniel Julez, 10, with ex-husband Daniel Smith.

— With reporting by Patricia Murray

This article originally appeared on People.com

TIME Opinion

What Does It Mean to ‘Break the Internet’?

Kim Kardashian Paper Magazine
Jean-Paul Goude—Paper

When it comes to Kim Kardashian's butt, the medium is the message

Late Tuesday night, Kim Kardashian’s butt announced it would “break the Internet” when it appeared on the cover of Paper magazine. But what does “breaking the Internet” even mean? Is the Internet like a Gameboy that can break if someone sits on it by accident?

Obviously, Kim isn’t the first person to claim to “break the Internet.” In September Taylor Swift “broke the Internet” when she wore a T-shirt saying “no it’s Becky,” a super-meta reference to a Tumblr post where a user insisted that a picture of young Taylor was, in fact, someone named Becky. Beyoncé’s surprise album “broke the Internet” when she secretly released it last year. Alex from Target “broke the Internet” just by looking cute at work. Even Obama’s sensationally tan suit was almost able (but not quite) to “break the Internet,” according to Shape magazine.

Apparently, the Internet is about as durable as an 87-year-old hip.

And when it comes to Internet buzz, Kim Kardashian is Shiva the Destroyer — she has created a fame engine so big, she can dominate Twitter by flashing her nether cleavage (which, by the way, everyone has already seen.) But the most interesting circle on the Kim Kardashian cover isn’t her glistening derriere — it’s the tiny zero in $10, which is what that magazine costs. Paper magazine is just what it says it is: a magazine made of paper, and it costs money to buy it. That Kim Kardashian can “break the Internet” with a print magazine cover (as opposed to, say, an Instagram) is perhaps the biggest coup of all.

Paper Magazine is a small but prestigious art and fashion publication with an edgy bent. So while her Vogue cover with Kanye helped legitimize Kardashian with the fashion set, Paper is a better print venue for her to bare it all in a non-pornographic way. It’s prestigious in an artsy way, but not too prestigious to demure from the full-butt experience. Plus, print is always unexpected, and Kim loves the unexpected–remember her divorce from Kris Humphries?

It’s reminiscent of Benedict Cumberbatch’s recent old-fashioned newspaper engagement announcement, which immediately went viral. Most of the fascination was the news that Sherlock was off the market, but there was the added shock that the announcement wasn’t made on Twitter or Instagram, but instead appeared on a piece of pulpy grey newsprint in The Times of London. “It’s a kind of traditional thing to do,” Cumberbatch told People magazine. “I wanted to have some control over the message.”

Obviously, if the Internet does actually break, a paper magazine is probably not going to be what breaks it. Google Chairman Eric Schmidt said in October that surveillance programs like the NSA are “going to end up breaking the Internet,” because foreign governments won’t trust the United States not to snoop on their online activities. And according to The Guardian, sharks could “break the Internet” by nibbling at underwater cables.

Those events might change internet. But in the context of viral media content, “breaking the Internet” means engineering one story to dominate Facebook and Twitter at the expense of more newsworthy things. (Like, for example, the fact that humans have landed a probe on a comet for a first time in history.) So perhaps a more accurate term would be “hijacking the Internet,” since really these stories seem to be manipulating online fervor rather than shutting the whole thing down.

Sometimes people “break the Internet” by accident, which was the case for Alex from Target, the baby-faced Target checkout boy whose photo when viral after he was photographed by a teenage girl (and who is reportedly kind of freaked out by his internet fame.) Another example of accidental internet takeover is PR director Justine Sacco, whose offensive AIDS tweet went immediately viral and cost her her job.

But for celebrities, Internet destruction more often a calculated PR maneuver, designed to maximize social media hype and make themselves — or their projects — the center of attention. That’s what happened with Beyoncé last year — her self-titled album dropped the night of Dec. 12, 2013 with no fanfare or PR announcement, and by the next day she dominated Twitter, Facebook and iTunes. And this month, Taylor Swift’s entire rollout of her album 1989 has been calculated to maximize social media buzz, from dropping the first single (“Shake It Off”) through a Yahoo! livestream event to removing her entire catalogue from Spotify. Add her new Tumblr presence and her surprisingly thoughtful interaction with fans, and you’ve got an Internet tornado.

Kim Kardashian and the editors of Paper weren’t quite as strategic as Swift, but they do get points for irony. After all, the web helped eclipse print partially because of the popularity of bare butts online, so if this magazine cover were really able to break the internet, it’d be sweet revenge for paper and ink.

Read Next: Kim Kardashian’s Butt Is an Empty Promise

TIME Television

There Was an Entire Category About Beyoncé on Jeopardy! Last Night

The Glastonbury Festival 2011 - Day Four
Beyonce headlines the Pyramid Stage at the Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm, Pilton on June 26, 2011 in Glastonbury, England. Samir Hussein—Getty Images

But if you're a true fan of Queen Bey, the questions were insultingly easy

Last night on Jeopardy!‘s Tournament of Champions, contestants got a chance to show off their knowledge about literature, geography, politics, blah blah blah — and oh wait, also BEYONCÉ.

Yup, an entire category was dedicated to Queen Bey — but for any true fans, the questions were pretty easy.

Check them out and play along here:

Contestants got all of the questions right, except for one minor hiccup from Arthur Chu, who responded with “Drunk on Love” instead of “Drunk in Love.” He later defended himself on Twitter:

Tread lightly, Arthur, because that kind of sass is what lands you in deep trouble with the Beygency.

TIME Music

Azealia Banks Just Beyoncé’d Her Long-Delayed Album

Azealia Banks
Azealia Banks Joel Ryan—Invision/AP

Broke With Expensive Taste hit iTunes with little warning

Azealia Banks’ debut album, Broke With Expensive Taste, is sort of like the Loch Ness Monster of hip-hop: few expected it would show itself in this lifetime. But after years of delays and label disputes and her own trash-talking, it seems the “212″ rapper has some news for ye-of-little-faith: the 16-song set is now available for purchase on iTunes.

The move recalls Beyoncé’s surprise release of her self-titled visual album last December, though Banks fans got a bit more of a heads up than Mrs. Carter’s followers, when Banks hinted Tuesday at a “magic trick” on Twitter. And while setting herself up for inevitable Beyoncé comparisons might be a risky move for an artist with just an EP and a mixtape to her name, Banks didn’t have much to lose, either. Despite some promising signs of progress, like “Heavy Metal and Reflective,” the record became more of a joke with each passing day. This way, she’s cutting her losses — Banks finally put her money where her mouth is.

TIME Music

Beyoncé to Release New Songs in Box Set This Month

Celebrity Sightings In New York City - October 29, 2014
Beyonce Knowles is seen in Midtown on October 29, 2014 in New York City. Alo Ceballos—GC Images

Almost one year after Queen Bey dropped her surprise album

Almost a year ago, the world woke up to a beautiful surprise: Beyoncé secretly released a self-titled album — plus music videos — overnight.

Well, on Tuesday, Queen Bey announced in a statement that her Platinum Edition Box Set will hit on Nov. 24, complete with last year’s albums along with two new songs and four new remixes with famous collaborators.

While new Beyoncé material is never unwelcome, the excitement over the box set release is slightly dulled after a fake tracklist for “Beyoncé Volume 2,” complete with 10 new songs, made the rounds online over the weekend.

But, there’s still room for celebration. The new songs on the box set are “7/11″ and “Ring Off.” Her remixes will include collaborations with Nicki Minaj, Kanye West, Mr. Vegas and Pharrell Williams.

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