Whether you like her or not, Beyonce managed to surprise everyone this week when she released her fifth studio album in the middle of the night! Here's how she pulled it off.

In the age of leaks, sources told Billboard that Beyonce simply used code words and names for her self-titled album. Another way to keep everyone on their heels was shifting deadlines. Apparently the release date wasn't even finalized until last week and the album only began to take shape in late October. That's a pretty quick turnaround!

Meetings were also held last week between Beyonce's label, Columbia Records and iTunes to determine the release date, time, and method.

Were you surprised at the news that Beyonce dropped her album in the middle of the night? With no leaks?