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Beyonce's iTunes exclusive becomes Apple's fastest selling album ever

Digital music downloads hit a new record with the surprise launch of Beyonce's latest album, exclusively on iTunes, with more than 800,000 copies sold in the first three days.

Apple announced on Monday that the self-titled album from artist Beyonce reached 828,773 albums sold in just three days. It also broke the U.S. first-week album sales record with 617,213 copies sold domestically in the first seven days.

The album, which can only be purchased through Apple's iTunes Store, was also a global success, reaching the No. 1. position in a total of 104 countries.

The surprise "visual album" arrived on the iTunes Music Store last Thursday, alongside a music video for the single "Grown Woman." The album is priced at $15.99 and is available in both clean and explicit versions. Individual songs will be available to buy on Dec. 20.

Beyonce's latest album is her fifth studio recording, featuring 14 new songs and 17 videos shot around the world. Though the album was only available through iTunes, it was the artist's biggest sales week ever.