Beyonce Gets Personal At New Album Screening

'I felt like I wanted follow in the footsteps of Madonna and be a powerhouse and have my own empire,' singer tells fans

December 22, 2013 5:41 PM ET
beyonce school of visual arts theater new york city
Beyonce attends a release party and screening for her new album 'Beyonce' at the School of Visual Arts Theater in New York City.
Michael Stewart/FilmMagic

Beyoncé opened up to her fans on Saturday during a screening of the videos accompanying her new album at New York's School for Visual Arts. The Associated Press reports that the singer answered fan questions submitted over Instagram about the unconventional release of Beyoncé, what it felt like to make such an intimate record and her plans to build her own empire.

Check Out Our Definitive Guide to Beyonce's New Album

Beyoncé released the new 14-song, 17-video "visual album" last Friday at midnight, with no advance promotion or word leaking out about it. Within days of its exclusive iTunes release, Beyoncé sold 600,000 copies and became the year's second-highest seller on the site. "Honestly I was at a point where I felt like, you know, everything feels the same," the singer said, according to the AP, as she explained her new approach to the album. "That's how I felt and if I could not challenge that, then maybe it's time for me to do something else or develop more artists, which is something I want to do."

Beyoncé did admit to feeling terrified about the chances she was taking, however. "I already envisioned like the worst things that could happen," she said. "I was really nervous because this was a huge risk."

Whatever nerves she might have faced, Beyoncé is embracing her ambition and feeling confident about going it alone, having started her own production company, Parkwood Entertainment. "I felt like I wanted follow in the footsteps of Madonna and be a powerhouse and have my own empire," she said "And [to] show other women when you get to this point in your career, you don't have to go sign with someone else and share your money and your success, you can do it yourself."

Regarding the particularly intimate nature of the new album, Beyoncé said she was finally ready to present a more adult side of herself:

"I'm very private and I'm very respectful, and I think it just took me no longer being someone's child – once I became a mother, I felt like I could tear those fourth walls and I just felt like it was time," she said. "I completely feel liberated."

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“American Girl”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

More Song Stories entries »