Bey's Big Surprise

Beyonce's new self-titled album has become the fastest-selling album ever worldwide in the iTunes Store, according to iTunes and Columbia Records, Beyonce's record label.

The label released the surprise album at 12 AM EST on the morning of Friday, Dec. 13, exclusively via iTunes.

Columbia reports that the set sold 828,773 copies in its first three days, through the close of business on Sunday night, Dec. 15. Of that sum, 617,000 were sold through the U.S. iTunes Store, which -- as previously reported -- also set a record for the largest week ever for an album.

iTunes is the sole retailer for "Beyonce" through Dec. 20. According to industry sources, a physical version of the album will start arriving to some U.S.-based brick-and-mortar retailers by Wednesday, Dec. 18. Most physical retailers will receive it by Friday, Dec. 20.

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