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OTRC: Beyonce appears topless on Out cover, talks female sexuality

Beyonce Knowles appears at he Sound Of Change Live Concert in London on June 1, 2013. / Beyonce appears on the May 2014 cover of Out magazine. (Angela Lubrano/Livepix/Dalle/startraksphoto.com / Out magazine/Santiago & Mauricio)

Beyonce appears on the cover of Out Magazine's May Power Issue and in it, the 32-year-old singer is featured in a risque photo shoot and talks about her recent self-titled album "Beyonce."

The article featured in the issue (Warning: article contains explicit images), which hits newsstands on April 22, details the behind-the-scenes work that went into the singer's latest tour and music. While the writer, Aaron Hicklin, could only ask Beyonce questions via email, because she was in the middle of her international tour, he also had access to many of the singer's collaborators over at her company, Parkwood Entertainment.

"She's completely relentless in her pursuit of perfectionism," Todd Tourso, Beyonce's creative director, said in the piece. "It sounds cheesy, but that's why I'm willing to work so hard for her. When you have this type of leadership and muse and mentor, I think the sky's the limit."

Beyonce's latest self-titled album was released without much promotion in December on iTunes. The album showed off a new side of the singer, with more sexually explicit tracks like "Blow," "Drunk in Love," "Rocket" and "Partition," and songs centered on themes of feminism ("***Flawless"). Check out a track-by-track review here.

"There is unbelievable power in ownership, and women should own their sexuality. There is a double standard when it comes to sexuality that still persists," Beyonce told Out. "Men are free and women are not. That is crazy. The old lessons of submissiveness and fragility made us victims."

"Women are so much more than that," she added. "You can be a businesswoman, a mother, an artist, and a feminist -- whatever you want to be -- and still be a sexual being. It's not mutually exclusive."

The singer later explained in the piece that in order for her to record such a personal album, she needed to free herself from certain expectations.

"While I am definitely conscious of all the different types of people who listen to my music, I really set out to make the most personal, honest, and best album I could make," she said when asked if her lyrics were written for all walks of life. "I needed to free myself from the pressures and expectations of what I thought I should say or be, and just speak from the heart."

The article also contains a few interesting details about the way she recorded songs for "Beyonce" and the music videos that were simultaneously released with the album. The singer revealed that she was actually sick when she recorded "XO."

"When I recorded 'XO' I was sick with a bad sinus infection. I recorded it in a few minutes just as a demo and decided to keep the vocals," Beyonce explained. "I lived with most of the songs for a year and never rerecorded the demo vocals. I really loved the imperfections, so I kept the original demos."

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