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Beyonce unveils ‘Lemonade’ amid album speculation

New York, United States | AFP

Pop superstar Beyonce on Saturday announced a televised project entitled “Lemonade” for next week, fueling speculation that she will release a “film-album.”

Beyonce posted on Instagram a short video with the title “Lemonade” which it billed as a “world premiere event” to air on the cable network HBO on April 23.

The rest of the video is cryptic, with a faint whispering as a person — presumably Beyonce — slowly rises with dreaded hair and a fur jacket but without any glance at the face.

The video would appear to confirm a report in February by The BeyHive, a fan site, that said she was working on an “album film.”

Beyonce is known for surprise releases and her interest in pairing her music with visuals.

She released her last album, which was self-titled, in December 2013 with no prior announcement and combined the music with a series of short films.

“Beyonce” was the fifth solo studio album by the now 34-year-old and her most personal, with reflections on motherhood and of her marital bliss with rap mogul Jay-Z.

In February, Beyonce released a new song, “Formation,” that moved in a sharply different direction with a sound from the New Orleans-bred bounce hip-hop scene.

Beyonce accompanied the song with a video in line with the burgeoning Black Lives Matter movement against perceived police brutality, with one scene showing officers raising their hands up as if under arrest.

The video won wide praise from activists and Beyonce’s fan base, although her political turn outraged some conservatives.

Beyonce, one of the most successful contemporary artists who has mostly avoided controversy in the past, later said in an interview that she was taking issue with abuses, not with all police.

Beyonce performed the song at the Super Bowl, the most-watched annual event on US television, and announced a “Formation” tour to start on April 27 — meaning that an album release next week would be logically timed.

Beyonce has hinted at the “Lemonade” theme on Instagram, showing pictures of herself with lemons.

Her fan site said that Beyonce was working with Kahlil Joseph, a Los Angeles-based director behind a lengthy video for acclaimed rapper Kendrick Lamar.

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