What seemed like a Christmas miracle turned out to a real pile of coal under the tree. On December 20, two supposedly new Beyoncé albums were leaked on Spotify and Apple Music under the artist name Queen Carter, but unfortunately for the Beyhive they were fake…mostly. While they were technically her songs, they were forgotten b-sides from before she was Queen Bey.
Variety reports that the two albums, Have Your Way and Back Up, Rewind, had tracklists of 10+ songs each that featured previously released movie tracks and unreleased demos. Have Your Way featured Beyoncé collaborations from movie soundtracks including “After All Is Said and Done” from Best Man and “Hey Goldmember” from Austin Powers in Goldmember; duets with Jay-Z (“Hollywood”) and Missy Elliot (“Crazy Feelings”); and a cover of the Little Willie John song, made famous by Peggy Lee, “Fever.” Back Up, Rewind featured “Keep Giving Your Love to Me” from the Bad Boys II soundtrack and “What’s It Gonna Be” a song that was cut from her debut album and later released on the Japanese edition of Dangerously in Love.
Perhaps whoever played this trick—or scam or what have you—thought no one would recognize the old songs. Well, they clearly underestimated how protective record companies are of their stars, as they quickly had the albums removed hours after being uploaded, although not soon enough to avoid global attention.
In defense of the fans who did fall for it, it wouldn’t be the first time the East Hampton resident released a surprise album. In fact, just this summer Beyoncé and Jay-Z unexpectedly released a joint album, Everything Is Love. Interestingly, this week marked the fifth anniversary of her first surprise album, Beyoncé, although perhaps that was entirely intentional.
Fake albums aside, 2018 has been an incredibly successful year for Beyoncé, and hopefully 2019 will be even better.