Beyoncé was released digitally to the i Tunes Store without prior announcement or promotion.
It debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200, earning Beyoncé her fifth consecutive number-one album in the country.
Through much of 2013 the media intermittently reported that the album was delayed or scrapped, with one story alleging Beyoncé had scrapped fifty songs in favor of starting again.
In July 2013, a spokesperson for Beyoncé denied speculation that her album had been delayed, stating there was no official release date to begin with and that when a date is set, it would be announced via an official press release. You could go and jump in the pool and ride bikes... it was really a safe place." She would spend the majority of her day with her newborn daughter, taking some hours out to record music.
By the time of post-production, the songwriting process began to converge with the content of the visuals and Beyoncé would watch unedited footage to fit the music to them.
She highlighted the immersive experience of Michael Jackson's Thriller (1982) as the principal influence for creating a body of work that "people would hear things differently and [...] actually be able to see the whole vision of the album".
Much of his role concerned liaising between Beyoncé, who for most videos already had concepts, and the respective directors who also had propositions.
Only four songs were not recorded entirely in New York studios: "Superpower" and "Heaven" which were partially recorded in California, as well as "No Angel" which was composed in London and "XO" in Berlin and Sydney.
Explaining her motivation, she said she would often connect images, childhood memories, emotions and fantasies to songs she was in the midst of composing, and that she "wanted people to hear the songs with the story that's in my head as that's what makes it mine".