That's how you make an entrance! Queen Bey, still in the midst of her global Mrs. Carter Tour, made the cleverest play of the year when she sneak-dropped her feverishly awaited fifth solo album at midnight, December 13. Simply titled Beyoncé, the disc (already a hit on iTunes) comes loaded with 14 fresh tracks and 17 stunning music videos, which have prompted reviewers, from Entertainment Weekly to USA Today, to dub the record/video collection "a feast for the eyes and the ears." Then there's the A-list guest roster, which gets appearances from the likes of Frank Ocean, Drake, Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and baby girl Blue Ivy. Needless to say, Beyoncé will be on repeat fro the remainder of 2013 and well into the New Year.
MOST ANTICIPATED VIDEO OF THE YEAR: "Riot" by Sean Paul and Damian Marley
Anything-goes Miami serves as the setting for the avidly anticipated visual to the Junior Gong/Sean Paul megahit "Riot," which has been dominating airplay and reggae charts from Kingston to Brixton for weeks now. Directed by Jon J, the clip features acting cameos from several Ghetto Youths artists, who help bring the song's powerful message of social uplift and youth empowerment to life. According to the seasoned music-vid director, in collaborating with Grammy winners Sean (with whom he's worked before) and Marley (teaming for the first time), he couldn't have asked for a more rewarding and professionalism-oriented time on set. "It was just an honour to be able to work with Damian; couldn't have asked for anything else from an artist of his stature," Jon J says. "I feel like this time was better because I believe [Sean] trusts my vision now,and it was definitely a bigger and more fun set for him to work on." "Riot," the video gets its world premiere on Jamaican television this weekend.