Wait, That's Where Beyonce's Name Came From?

It's her mom's maiden name, and she should've been Beyince instead
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 17, 2020 6:11 AM CDT
Wait, That's Where Beyonce's Name Came From?
In this video grab from June 28, 2020, Beyonce accepts a humanitarian award during the BET Awards.   (BET via AP)

Lots of people name their kids after family members, or even use surnames from further up the family tree. Yet somehow the world is reeling from finding out that's exactly how one of our most famous celebrities got her own moniker. Per USA Today, Tina Knowles-Lawson, the mother of 39-year-old singer Beyonce, was on Tuesday's episode of the In My Head With Heather Thomson podcast, and in it, she made an "interesting" revelation about her oldest daughter's name. "A lot of people don't know that Beyonce is my last name," Knowles-Lawson said, adding that her full name was Celestine Beyonce. And it wasn't a maiden name she loved. "At that time [it] was not a cool thing to have that weird name," she noted. "I wanted my name to be 'Linda Smith,' because those were the cool names."

Even odder is that, due to a typo, she and one of her brothers had the last name "Beyonce," while others in her family had the last name "Beyince." She told Thomson that when she asked her own mother why that was, her mom replied, "That's what they put on your birth certificate." Knowles-Lawson added that when her mother tried to get the mistake changed, she was told: "Be happy that you're getting a birth certificate," as Black people didn't receive birth certificates at one time. "You weren't important. It was that subliminal message," Knowles-Lawson said. "That must have been horrible for her, not to even be able to have her children's names spelled correctly." People notes that Knowles-Lawson gained her two newest surnames first when she married Beyonce's dad, Mathew Knowles, in 1980, and then, after divorcing Knowles, when she wed actor Richard Lawson in 2015. (Read more Beyonce stories.)

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