Girls really do run the world! Beyonce held a “visual album” screening of her self titled fifth album (featuring 17 epic videos) Saturday, Dec. 21 at the School of Visual Arts in NYC — and the global singing sensation shared with fans that her inspiration was none other than Madonna!

Following a screening of all 17 videos, which were played consecutively with movie theater quality sound, Beyonce took to the stage to address the crowd. “I felt like I wanted to follow in the footsteps of Madonna and be a powerhouse and have my own empire,” the songstress shared of the Queen of Pop, 55, who actually attended Beyonce’s Brooklyn show on Thursday, Dec. 19. Madonna shared an adorable Instagram photo from the show of the “XO” singer planting a kiss on her 8-year-old daughter Mercy James.

Credit: Barry Brecheisen/WireImage

The “Run the World” singer, wearing a stunning sheer black dress at the screening, added that she wanted to “show other women, when you get to this point in your career, you don’t have to go sign with someone else and share your money, and your success, you can do it yourself.”
How did she manage to pull it all together? “I found a team of underdogs, a team of women, a team of people that no one believed in,” she shared. “And we worked together and we stayed up all night and we were progressive and we did not follow the rules and we said, ‘Why can’t we do it?’ and I don’t think people believed, you know?”

Although she managed to keep her fifth studio label under wraps until its stunning iTunes release on Dec. 13, Beyonce had conceived the idea of a “visual album” some time ago. “I said to so many people, ‘I have an idea to do a visual album,’ and everyone was like ‘Ok,'” she told the crowd. “And we did it! And not only did we do it, it’s my company and I’m very proud of that.”
Beyonce’s husband Jay Z is also a successful entrepreneur who manages his own clothing company and record label, among other ventures. “She was very humble — almost in tears with appreciation at times,” said Us Weekly’s Entertainment Director Ian Drew, who attended the screening Saturday night.

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US Weekly