Twins for Queen Bey

Pop star Beyonce announced she is expecting twins with Jay Z with this photo on Instagram.
Pop star Beyonce announced she is expecting twins with Jay Z with this photo on Instagram.PHOTO: INSTAGRAM/ BEYONCE

NEW YORK • That collective shriek of joy you are hearing from the BeyHive?

Beyonce, 35, and Jay Z, 47, are expecting twins.

Beyonce, the cultural and music powerhouse, dropped the news on Instagram on Wednesday with a picture of herself cradling a baby bump.

It was captioned: "We would like to share our love and happiness. We have been blessed two times over. We are incredibly grateful that our family will be growing by two, and we thank you for your well wishes."

The news was yet another example of Beyonce's penchant for tightly controlling her own narrative.

She revealed she was pregnant in 2011 with a knowing belly rub at the MTV Video Music Awards, after a spirited performance of Love On Top - and a microphone drop. Their daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, was born on Jan 7, 2012.

The baby news came less than a year after the release of Beyonce's album Lemonade, in which she appeared to address longstanding rumours of trouble in her eight- year marriage. The lyrics of several songs spoke about being cheated on and regretting being married.

But she made clear in the final tracks of the album and in music videos featuring Jay Z that she had decided to stay in the relationship.

The couple have never directly addressed the rumours.

Things seem to be going well for them now - her Instagram post was signed, "The Carters".

It was not clear whether the pregnancy would affect plans for the Grammy Awards on Feb 12, where Beyonce has a leading nine nominations, mostly for Lemonade, and would be expected to perform.

She is also due to headline a concert at the Coachella music festival in southern California in April.

The couple's fervent and loyal fans responded with typical enthusiasm to the announcement. Twitter said more than half a million tweets were sent about the pregnancy within 45 minutes and "twins" became the top trending topic.

Some Coachella ticketholders wondered about the status of Beyonce's scheduled performance.

But several of her fans - presumably critics of new United States President Donald Trump - declared the announcement the happiest development so far of 2017.

NYTIMES, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 03, 2017, with the headline 'Twins for Queen Bey'. Print Edition | Subscribe