Beyonce is getting really good at keeping secrets. Once again with no advance notice and no warning, the superstar, 32, graces the striking May cover of Out magazine — her very first magazine cover since the surprise, paradigm-shifting release of her fifth, self-titled album last December. For the gorgeous head-and-shoulders cover, shot by by Santiago & Mauricio and styled by Lysa Cooper, the Grammy winner is in bombshell mode, with an Old Hollywood-style platinum blonde, wavy chin-length ‘do; seemingly topless, she tilts her head back with her eyes closed and parts her lips orgasmically, wearing just a few delicate necklaces. With little text to distract fans from their star, Out's cover line simply reads "POWER."
Inside, the Destiny's Child alum tells Out's Editor-in-Chief Aaron Hincklin all about the top-secret creation of the record-breaking BEYONCE album, notable for its raw, honest depictions of female sexuality and empowerment. "Women should own their sexuality," she says. "Men are free and women are not. That is crazy. The old lessons of submissiveness and fragility made us victims. Women are so much more than that."
Beyonce, who recently celebrated her sixth wedding anniversary with Jay Z, also reveals a new factoid about recording "XO," a fan-favorite anthem-ballad on the LP. "When I recorded 'XO' I was sick with a bad sinus infection. I recorded it in a few minutes just as a demo and decided to keep the vocals," she says of the husky-voiced track. "I lived with most of the songs for a year and never rerecorded the demo vocals. I really loved the imperfections, so I kept the original demos. I spent the time I'd normally spend on backgrounds and vocal production on getting the music perfect."
The “Partition” temptress also adds that she's proud of her huge LGBT following, who've been celebrating the Beyonce album for months. "I'm very happy if my words can ever inspire or empower someone who considers themselves an oppressed minority," she says. "We are all the same and we all want the same things: the right to be happy, to be just who we want to be and to love who we want to love."
The May issue of Out — the Power Issue — hits stand April 22.