It's a good time to be [artist id="1236911"]Beyoncé[/artist]. The singer just released [article id="1666507"]her latest album, 4,[/article] and fans were taken behind the scenes of its completion in the special [article id="1666569"]"Beyoncé: Year of 4,"[/article] which debuted Thursday (June 30) on MTV.
The intimate special opens with black-and-white footage of the singer swimming. "I'm always happy when I'm surrounded by water," she says. "I think I'm a mermaid or I was a mermaid. The ocean makes me feel really small, and it puts my whole life into perspective. ... It humbles you and it grounds you and it makes me feel almost like I've been baptized. Am I the same Beyoncé? Absolutely not."
The special is footage of B's life, complete with montages of the frenzy surrounding her: Video shoots, rehearsals, studio time and photo shoots all pepper her life as she prepares to release her fourth solo studio effort. However, she is quick to point out that, before she got back to work, she needed to decompress in a major way.
"After I finished the last tour, I was a bit overwhelmed and overworked, and my mother was the person that preached to me ... 'You really need to live your life and open your eyes and you don't want to wake up with no memories,' " she explained.
Beyoncé shows what she did on her off-time, which included playing aunt and wife. "I was able to spend time with my family and pick my nephew up from school, and it gave me time to reflect," she said.
In that reflection time, Beyoncé made a major business decision: Her father, [article id="1660837"]Mathew Knowles, would no longer serve as her manager[/article]. While explaining the decision, fans are taken back in time thanks to vintage video of the Knowles family. "A real change meant separating from him," she said. "It was scary, but it empowered me, and I wasn't going to let fear stop me."
Fans are once again on Beyoncé's whirlwind world tour as she continues work on her album. "I am a workaholic, and I don't believe in 'no,' " she said. "If I'm not sleeping, nobody's sleeping."
"My focus is not bigger; it's quality, and I want to make sure it's something I'm proud of years from now," she says later on. "It's very difficult managing myself. Every night when I go to sleep, I ask hundreds of questions. I'm making mistakes, and I'm learning from them. I've never been afraid to fall -- and I say all these things, but now I'm being tested."
As the special closes, Beyoncé shoots her [article id="1664181"]"Run the World (Girls)" video[/article] and continues work on her album, including meetings with record executives. It all ends with B swimming once again, as she says, "I'm learning to drown out the noise. I only have to follow my heart. I run my world."
What did you think of Beyoncé behind-the-scenes world? Let us know in the comments!