If anyone understands the element of surprise, it’s Beyonce Knowles!

The songstress dropped her highly-anticipated fifth studio album on iTunes last night and the world didn’t have the slightest inkling it was coming. With 14 new songs and 17 videos, the 32-year-old proved just why we call her the Queen Bey!

So how exactly did Beyonce pull off a top-secret album and sell 80,000 copies in three hours with no marketing? Syd Schwartz, a former EMI Music executive said “she obviously had to bypass a lot of the standard mechanisms to make this work.”

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“Many other artists who aren’t of Beyoncé’s stature would not have been able to get this done and move it through the system this quickly,” Schwartz told Rolling Stone. “The hard part is keeping it a secret, when you’re Beyoncé’s size…A very small number of people in her inner circle must have known about this.”

Apparently, even people who worked on project had no idea Beyonce was pulling this stunt. Caroline Polachek, writer and producer for the album’s fifth track “No Angel,” said, “I had no clue it was coming.”

“I never heard the final version ’til last night,” she revealed.

Toronto songwriter and producer Noah “40″ Shebib, who mixed and mastered “Mine” featuring Drake, said Beyoncé’s people “were pressuring” him to finish the record “immediately.”

“And sure enough, they weren’t joking,” he said. “My manager called me last night, ‘It’s out! Beyoncé!’ We’re all just pulling out iTunes.”

According to TMZ, dancer Morgan Hebert said she “knew she was involved in some kind of video project for the singer when they were filming in Houston in September, but she didn’t know exactly what.”

She said they shot the video for “Blow” very last minute and everyone had to sign a confidentiality agreement. Also, no cell phones or pictures were allowed on set.

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“It was brilliant,” Shebib added. “You spend no marketing dollars, essentially. To hold that together and not let that out of the bag is very, very impressive. It’s not easy to do…Everybody was surprised. Everybody. It wasn’t just the fans.”

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How Beyoncé Kept Her Surprise Album Top Secret!  was originally published on hellobeautiful.com