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Tina Knowles-Lawson has revealed the surprising origin of Beyoncé‘s name.

During Tuesday’s premiere episode of the podcast In My Head with Heather Thomson podcast, the singer’s mother said “Beyoncé” is actually her maiden name.

“A lot of people don’t know that Beyoncé is my last name. It’s my maiden name,” she said, per PEOPLE. “My name was Celestine Beyoncé, which at that time was not a cool thing to have that weird name. I wanted my name to be Linda Smith because those were the cool names.”


She went on to say that only a few people in her family have the “Beyoncé” last name, while others have “Beyincé” due to a clerical error.

“I think me and my brother Skip were the only two that had B-E-Y-O-N-C-E,” she said.

“It’s interesting — and it shows you the times — because we asked my mother when I was grown. I was like, ‘Why is my brother’s name spelled B-E-Y-I-N-C-E? You know, it’s all these different spellings,’ ” Knowles-Lawson added. “And my mom’s reply to me was like, ‘That’s what they put on your birth certificate.’”



“So I said, ‘Well, why didn’t you argue and make them correct it?’ ” she continued. “And she said, ‘I did one time. The first time, and I was told be happy that you’re getting a birth certificate because, at one time, Black people didn’t get birth certificates.”

The fashion designer also noted that it “must’ve been horrible” for her mother to “not to even be able to have her children’s names spelled correctly.”

“So we all have different spellings,” she said. “People don’t even put the two together and know that’s the same name.”

Knowles-Lawson recently opened up to PEOPLE about being away from her grandchildren amid the COVID pandemic. She said “every day” she calls or FaceTimes Beyonce’s kids, daughter Blue and her 3-year-old twin siblings Sir and Rumi.

“My granddaughter Rumi, who’s 3, yesterday her mom called me on a home phone. She had never seen a [landline] phone in her life, so she didn’t even know what it was,” she recalled. “Beyoncé said, ‘Oh, Mama, she’s looking at that like … ‘ And she keeps saying, ‘I can’t see you!’ “

“That’s the hard part,” she added. “But up until about six weeks ago, I was seeing them every day because we all got tested and we weren’t in contact with anyone, so I got to go over there every day. So when they left it was like withdrawal. And my oldest granddaughter told her mom, ‘Grandma is hugging us too much,’ when I first went around them. Because you just wanna touch ’em and you wanna hug ’em, so I’m going through that.”