There's no denying that Beyoncé has been hard at work this year, what with her Mrs. Carter Show world tour in full swing, major ad campaigns for Pepsi and H&M, and her notorious Super Bowl performance.
But now, on Beyonce's 32nd birthday, we find ourselves wondering, what's the deal with her forthcoming album? Fans and industry big-wigs have been waiting with baited breath to see what the self-managed superstar will deliver as the follow-up to 2011's "4."
Sure we've been teased with the tune "Grown Woman," which appeared an a Pepsi commercial, as well as "Standing On the Sun," which debuted in an H&M ad featuring the bikini-clad star frolicking in the waves. But neither of these were singles, and rumors abound that the record's release date was pushed back due to an unfavorable response to initial tunes.
Then there was "Rise Up" from the animated film "Epic" that popped up a few months ago, but it appears that the complete versions of that song that were circulating around the Internet have since been taken down.
In July, the Hollywood Reporter stated that Queen Bey auditioned more than 50 songs for her fifth solo studio album, which she's been working on with several renowned contributors including Diplo, Sia and Ne-Yo, but she reportedly decided to scrap them and start over.
Beyoncé's label, Columbia Records, initially hoped that her album would be ready for a spring release, but alas, it did not come to pass. Executives then hoped she'd have it ready by the fall to compete with major releases by Lady Gaga and Katy Perry, but it looks as though that may be a pipe dream as well.
That said, she was spotted filming a new Terry Richardson-directed video just last week inConey Island. Could this video be for the new single we've all been waiting for? A spokesperson for Beyoncé could not confirm whether the new video will be an official release or if the album will come out this year. The rep
simply stated that the "Halo" singer had recently filmed various visuals.
Gail Mitchell, Billboard magazine's Senior Editor, R&B and Hip Hop, thinks Beyoncé is just taking her time. "We're in such a fast turnaround society, but when you break it down, it's just been two years," she said. "I could understand if it's an artist who is just starting out and they wait two years and then put something out, yes, I think it might be a detriment to them, but Beyoncé's got the legacy of Destiny's Child. She's got the legacy of the other solo albums."
Mitchell added that Beyoncé has also done a good job of remaining visible with all of her high profile performances, animated film "Epic," and regular updates on her Tumblr and Instagram pages.
Mitchell believes taking time to prep a new album makes a lot of sense for Beyoncé. "She's pretty savvy," Mitchell said, referring to the singer's more than 15 years experience as an A-list performer, child of two entrepreneurs and spouse to an equally wise music mogul.
"I think she has a master plan and is working on an album and will put it out when the timing is right," she said.
"Every time she comes with an album, she's trying to take it to the next level," she added. "If you're a true artist -- and I think she is -- I think you want to bring something different to the table."
So it looks like we'll have to just be patient.