Oh Beyonce! You sneaky little thing, you! 

Queen Bey dropped a surprise self-titled album just before midnight yesterday, sending an electric shock through the music world. But wait: Where'd this album come from? For nearly two years, conflicting and confusing reports circulated claiming that a new Beyonce album was coming, that it wasn't coming, that a single hadn't been picked, that she was pregnant again, etc., etc., etc. Then she just dropped the new record upon our pathetic souls late last night.

MORE » Fuse is exclusively premiering all 17 'BEYONCE' videos this Monday at 8PM ET

Here's the timeline of the long, complicated roll-out for Beyonce, starting from when Bey revealed her pregnancy in late 2011...

  • Late 2011: Any plans to tour behind her 2011 release 4 were scrapped when Bey discovered that she had a bun in the oven. She gave gave birth to baby Blue Ivy Carter on January 7, 2012. Her 2009 "I Am…Tour" hit every continent back in 2009, so fans were left clueless when to expect to see the singer again.
  • February 11, 2012: Proud parents Beyonce and Jay reveal pictures of their new daughter along with a handwritten note saying, "Thank you for respecting our privacy at this time." A new baby and Bey wanting her privacy? Doesn't sound like music music making was happening over on Bey's end, though Jay did drop "Glory" featuring a vocal sample of the new babe.
  • February 27, 2012: We learn Bey's been hard at work ...not on music, but House of Dereon, her joint fashion line with her mother Tina. 
  • April 5, 2012: Beyonce launches a Twitter, Tumblr and new website. Having one's social media platforms all updated and ready to go is a necessary strategy to release most albums in today's age.
  • May 25, 2012: She's back!!! On stage, at least. Bey doesn't miss a beat at her live comeback show at Atlantic City's Revel Resort. No new music was revealed... maybe it's not ready?
  • June 1, 2012: Bey reveals she will voice a character in upcoming animated film Epic
  • October 10, 2012: The singer/actress drops out of Clint Eastwood's remake of A Star Is Born... to focus on music?
  • October 16, 2012: Beyonce confirms she will perform at the Super Bowl. OK, obviously an album release is imminent in early 2013. This is the biggest platform to promote new music!
  • November 26, 2012: HBO reveals an intimate documentary starring Beyonce will premiere on their channel in February 2013. Just after the Super Bowl, aka key promo for that new album that's definitely coming... right?
  • December 4, 2012: It's coming! It's coming! The-Dream tells Billboard that Beyonce is "ready to reveal her plans" and that we'll "probably hear a few records before the Super Bowl." He is also "involved in every part of the process." Really?
  • December 10, 2012: Pepsi announces a "hybrid project" partnership with Beyonce that includes a multi-million dollar fund to support the singer's chosen creative projects. Creative projects, like, 17 music videos?
  • January 10, 2013: Destiny's Child announces a new compilation Love Songs, featuring "Nuclear," their first song in eight years.
  • January 10, 2013: In their Beyonce cover story, GQ says we'll hear the new album "as early as April" and that it's inspired by R&B, doo-wop and artists like Prince, D'Angelo, Aretha Franklin and Diana Ross. Collaborators include The-Dream, Pharrell, Justin Timberlake and Timbaland.
  • February 2, 2013: Beyonce rocks the Super Bowl and announces The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour.
  • March 7, 2013: News says the man who leaked Bey's 4 album three weeks early is being sued for $233,000.
  • March 18, 2013: New music finally arrives when "Bow Down/I Been On" hits SoundCloud. The track would eventually become "***Flawless" on Beyonce. It's never released as a proper single.