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Beyonce's self-titled new album enters top five after 48 hours of release

Record sold 68,000 copies in two days in the UK

US pop star Beyoncé’s surprise fifth studio album has shot into the UK Official Albums Chart top five in just 48 hours after it appeared unannounced on iTunes.

The new self-titled record was randomly released on Friday to great excitement from fans, shortly after the “Halo” singer had revealed plans to bring her Mrs Carter Show World Tour back to Britain for a series of shows in February.

The former Destiny’s Child singer was expected to release the follow-up to 2011's 4 sometime next year but now, 68,000 fans have already snapped up copies in time for Christmas.

BEYONCÉ: Album review

Martin Talbot, chief executive of the Official Charts Company said: “It is a great achievement by Beyoncé to make such an impact so quickly, after just two days sales – and especially with only the digital edition available.

“Few, if any, albums have sold as many digital copies in such a short space of time.”

Beyoncé’s 31-track album includes collaborations with Frank Ocean, Drake, Sia, Justin Timberlake, Timbaland, Pharrell and her husband, “99 Problems” rapper Jay Z. The couple’s daughter Blue Ivy also features on the album on a song called “Blue”.

Scroll down for a video clip preview of "Blue"

The singer has recorded 17 new videos to accompany her songs, which include “Drunk In Love”, “Yoncé”, "Jealous" “Ghost” and “Heaven”.

The 32-year-old star debuted "X0" during a concert at Chicago's United Center on Friday night, telling the crowd: "I'm gonna sing this song, which is a brand new song. It hasn't even been out for 24 hours. I want to sing this to you all because it was written for you all. This is the first time, something I'll never forget."

Beyoncé looks likely to top the US albums chart after her record sold 80,000 copies in just a few hours of release.

Robbie Williams’ swing album Swing Both Ways reclaimed the number one UK album spot this week, with One Direction’s Midnight Memories slipping into second place. X Factor judge Gary Barlow’s Since I Saw You Last is in third and Right Place Right Time by Olly Murs is fourth.

Lily Allen is enjoying a third week at the top of the UK singles chart with her cover of Keane’s “Somewhere Only We Know”, used as the soundtrack to the Christmas John Lewis advert.