Beyoncé's surprise new album Beyoncé is expected to sell close to 600,000 copies in just three days on its way to a Number One debut on the Billboard 200 albums chart, the magazine reports. The singer released her fifth album on Friday without advance notice, making the 14-song, 17-video (plus one featuring credits) "visual album" available for sale on iTunes. "There's so much that gets between the music, the artist and the fans," Beyoncé said in a statement Friday. "I felt like I didn't want anybody to give the message when my record is coming out. I just want this to come out when it's ready and from me to my fans."
On Friday alone, the album sold 430,000 copies and another 120,000 on Saturday. A Number One debut for Beyoncé would be the singer's fifth in a row, making her five-for-five with solo albums. Also of note: The sales for Beyoncé could eclipse the singer's previous first-week best, which came when her 2006 album B'day sold 541,000 copies in six days, according to SoundScan. None of her other three albums cracked 500,000, though her 2008 release I Am . . . Sasha Fierce came close, with first-week sales of 482,000. Her most recent album, 2011's 4, sold 310,000 album the first week.
Beyoncé is currently wrapping up the North American portion of her "Mrs. Carter" tour. Next year, she heads to Europe for more arena dates.
Update: Beyoncé has sold more than 617,000 copies through iTunes in the U.S. and 828,000 internationally in its first three days, according to figures from Apple reported by The Associated Press. The domestic total sets a new record for first-week digital sales in the United States.