The surprise release of Beyoncé’s fifth solo album has earned the R&B star a new Guinness World Records title for fastest-selling album on iTunes.

The former Destiny’s Child singer took the music industry and her own fans by surprise when she released her new, eponymously titled album exclusively on iTunes on Friday without any prior announcement.

The unconventional move has paid off in spectacular style: in its first three days of availability as a digital download, the "visual" album – featuring 14 new tracks and 17 videos – shifted 828,773 copies worldwide to shatter the iTunes record established by Justin Timberlake's 20/20 Experience (580,000) in March 2013.

"I didn't want to release my music the way I've done it (before). I'm bored with that," Beyonce said after the release.

"I feel like I'm able to speak directly to my fans. There's so much that gets between the music, the artist and the fans.

"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 (for it to be) from me to my fans."

While the majority of those sales came in the US, where it has racked up 617,213 sales since its release, the album has also already debuted at No.1 in 104 different countries.

Beyonce also currently holds the record for highest annual earnings for a female singer, having racked up an estimated $80 million (£40 million) according to the 2008 Forbes celebrity list.