Beyonce’s new album has broken an iTunes record to become the fastest-selling release in the history of the online music store.
The self-titled album sold 828,773 copies in just three days after the singer released her fifth studio album unannounced on Friday morning.
The majority of sales came from the US, where the record sold 617,213 copies.
Apple, which runs the iTunes store, said the album broke the previous first-week sales record set by Justin Timberlake’s 20/20 Experience, which sold 580,000 in March.
In the UK, Beyonce’s album entered the Official Albums Chart at number five after just 48 hours of sales with 68,000 copies sold.
Beyonce released BEYONCE unexpectedly on Friday 13 December, creating a huge online buzz around her album without a single run-up marketing campaign.
The singer surprised fans with her new album, which has 14 new songs and 17 videos.
The 31-year-old said the “visual album” was inspired by her memories of watching Michael Jackson’s Thriller video premiere in 1983.
She said: “I miss that immersive experience. Now people only listen to a few seconds of a song on their iPods and they don’t really invest in the whole experience.”
The singer announced new dates for the UK leg of her Mrs Carter Show World Tour ahead of her album release last week.
Physical copies of her new record are expected to go on sale in shops before Christmas.