The Beyhive likely never expected Beyoncé to become the reigning queen of surprises, but that she is.
Since 2011, Queen Bey has been sending her dedicated legion of fans into overdrive with the many unexpected twists and turns in both her personal and professional lives. To date, she has surprise-announced four albums, two films and two pregnancies in ways that no one else could.
It all started at the MTV Video Music Awards in August 2011. When Beyoncé took the stage to perform her single “Love on Top,” the star-studded audience had no idea that she had something up her sleeve — or someone in her belly. At the end of the song, she dropped her microphone, unbuttoned her sparkly purple jacket and rubbed her stomach, revealing she was pregnant with her and husband Jay-Z’s first child.
Two years later, the Grammy winner broke the internet when she basically invented the strategy of dropping a full album without any prior announcement. Her eponymous fifth record, which included the singles “XO” and “Drunk in Love,” shattered multiple records, and she similarly went on to surprise-release three more albums, most notably 2016’s Lemonade.
Beyoncé took a page out of her own book in February 2017 when she shared the news of her second pregnancy, this time with twins. Her stunning Instagram announcement quickly became the social media platform’s most-liked post of all time, though Kylie Jenner’s first photo of daughter Stormi and advertising creative Chris Godfrey’s “World Record Egg” eventually surpassed it.
The former Destiny’s Child member’s next surprise came in April 2019 in two forms: a Netflix concert film titled Homecoming and an accompanying live album documenting her 2018 Coachella performance. A year later, she dropped the Disney+ film Black Is King featuring music from her Lion King companion album, The Gift.
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Scroll down to take a look back at more of Beyoncé’s biggest surprises — so far!