Beyoncé’s album is a stealth smash, but get ready now for heavy publicity backing the new songs and videos, like the one above.
Queen Bey has pulled off the biggest music heist in history – debuting her “secret,” self-titled album at No. 1 with 617,000 copies sold in just a few days, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
But even though Bey made zero effort to promote it and relied only on word of mouth, that’s about to change now that the physical distribution of the album begins Friday.
“Beyoncé [had] a top-secret photo shoot Thursday at her offices in New York,” an insider tells Confidenti@l. “She (had) makeup and hair coming, and they’re booked for the whole day for an ‘album promotion’ shoot.”
Following that session, Bey will attend a screening Friday at the School of Visual Arts on 23rd St. in Chelsea, another music insider tells us.
“The screening is at noon, and is billed as a director’s screening with Beyoncé, for her new visual album,” our source says. “Terry Richardson will be there, along with her dancers in the videos.”
Jon Kopaloff/Film Magic
Justin Bieber has been following the traditional method of releasing singles one by one.
Promotion or no promotion, the album and videos are a smash hit, says our second source. “Beyoncé is the first woman to reach No. 1 with her first five studio albums,” our insider explains. “The fifth album sales are based solely on download sales. Now that she is really going to start promoting it, watch it explode.”
Confidenti@l broke news Bey was working on a secret project long before staffers at the highest levels of Columbia Records knew about it. She had planned to slowly release songs on iTunes one by one like Justin Bieber has been doing, but in the end decided to release the whole album at once as a visual treat for fans — a move which pretty much caused the whole of planet Earth to react.
“Honestly, most of us found out when everyone else did,” a Columbia insider told us when the music dropped on iTunes. “That’s just how secret it all was, and what it takes to keep it as such.”
The 14 new songs and 17 videos were recorded and shot in Bey’s hometown of Houston, in her Tribeca apartment, in the Hamptons, in Sydney and on the beach in Rio de Janeiro.
Directors included Richardson, Hype Williams and Beyoncé herself.
“Bridesmaids” genius Kristen Wiig was star-struck herself on the red carpet for “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” at MoMA Wednesday night. A guest at the screening tells us they saw Wiig flip for former “Real Housewives of New York” star Kelly Bensimon when she spotted her at the Cinema Society and Brooks Brothers event.
“Kelly was waiting so she could meet Kristen and looked really excited, like a teenager going to meet someone she’s a fan of,” says our tipster. “The two hit it off and it was all laughs and smiles. Then I found out that it was Kristen who summoned Kelly by accident. Turns out she thought she knew Kelly, but realized when Kelly came over that she only knows her from her show.” Wiig, who admitted she watches “Housewives,” was overheard saying, “I just looked at her and waved at her because I thought I knew her, and I realized, ‘I don’t know you, I just have watched you on television,’ and felt really dumb.”
Only Members of the club get this: Adele with her MBE award.
ADELE GETS AN ORDER
The Brits love their award ceremonies, and this time they picked a winner. Adele, 25, accepted an MBE award (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) from Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace on Thursday. The Grammy winner wore a Stella McCartney dress and decorated her dark manicure with miniature ruby crowns.
BRODY’S MAGIC TOUCH
Adrien Brody, who plays Harry Houdini in an upcoming History Channel miniseries, has learned a few tricks of his own. The Oscar winner is expected to spread holiday cheer by performing his best magic for a group of Queens kids on Friday at the Action Center’s holiday party. For the event, the Queens native has teamed with Bulgari and Save the Children, which offers aid to kids affected by Hurricane Sandy.
WENDY’S GOT THE CHECK
Wendy Williams played Santa Claus to her television show’s staff, taking them all to a fabulous dinner at new Chelsea hotspot the Heath, at the McKittrick Hotel. Williams, who’s about to release her seventh book (which she calls a “lovely, juicy romance novel”) early next year, toasted the show’s fifth season with her crew and later the whopping tab. Also dining near Williams’ table was Cuba Gooding Jr.
Rihanna suits up for Marquee in a navy minidress, fishnets and Louboutin patent leather heels.
RI-ALLY LATE PARTY
Rihanna is keeping up her night-owl routine. RiRi was at Marquee nightclub’s weekly Wednesday party this week, arriving at 2:15 a.m. with a large group of about 10 guys and two girls, a spywitness tells us. “She wore a really cute black short dress with fishnet stockings and black high heels,” says our tipster. “She was dancing and having a good time. They stayed until the very end, until DJ Vice stopped playing. Her group of guys were very polite.”
BEASTY FEAST WITH CAVALLI
Roberto Cavalli is going from dresses to dinner: The designer is set to open a restaurant in Miami on New Year’s Eve. The upscale Italian eatery, of course, will be covered in his signature animal-print everything, including a purple and blue giraffe-printed ceiling and a cheetah-print bar. The space will hold a huge wine selection from the gown maker’s Cavalli Vineyards in Florence. The outside of the Ocean Drive restaurant resembles his villa in Tuscany, with Cavalli stamped in gold outside.
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Biebs and fans get their groove on at the premiere for ‘Justin Bieber’s Believe.’
BIEBS’ TIME RUNNING OUT
A broken watch is right … once a week? It’s time to get a new timepiece, Justin Bieber. The Biebs, who recently announced he was “retiring, man” from music, arrived at the premiere of his film “Justin Bieber’s Believe” at Regal Cinemas in Los Angeles on Wednesday night. But his diamond-encrusted Rolex read “Sunday” in the day slot, rendering the pricey piece of bling useless.
SOME TOP MARCS
For his final Louis Vuitton campaign, Marc Jacobs has rounded up all of his favorite muses over the years for portrait-style photos shot by Steven Meisel. Gisele Bundchen models a look from the Spring/Summer 2014 collection, and other Jacobs favorites in the ads include Sofia Coppola, Catherine Deneuve, model Edie Campbell and model musician Caroline de Maigret.
As Mariah Carey leaves a recording session, an aide is ready to stave off dehydration with a monogrammed ‘M’ chalice.
THERE’S ALWAYS LOTS TO CAREY
It’s never too late to look this good. Mariah Carey emerged from a recording studio in New York City at 5 a.m. on Thursday morning, and all signs pointed to her trademark diva reputation. An assistant carried a beverage in a silver chalice, complete with an “M” monogram, so Mimi wouldn’t have to go through the trouble. Another assistant, meanwhile, carried the singer’s asthma inhaler for her. What a staff.
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Miley Cyrus gets into the season at Jingle Ball in Tampa.
It’s hard to recognize her underneath all that clothing, but the pigtailed girl wearing a jolly Christmas sweater is none other than Miley Cyrus. The 21-year-old pop star attended FLZA’s Jingle Ball in Tampa on Tuesday night, and managed to avoid showing the whole world her hip bones. At least for a few minutes.
Kim Kardashian (2nd r.) and pals take a slice-of-life shot at Giordano’s in Chicago.
KIM PRETTY CHEESY
Kanye West and Kim Kardashian stopped for pizza in Chicago this week and treated the deep-dish chefs to a treat of their own. After waiting 45 minutes on line at Giordano’s packed shop, where they ordered a “Giordano’s Stuffed Special,” staffers requested a photo with the duo, but Kim took a phone call and left the eatery. She came back later, saying she “spaced out” on her call and remembered she’d promised them a pic, for which she happily posed. Say (pizza) cheese!