Ever wondered why Beyoncé‘s name is quite rare? While the singer is internationally famous, not many people know the meaning behind why she was given that moniker, however, you’re about to find out today as her mother Tina Knowles-Lawson recently explained its origins.
The 66-year-old fashion designer, businesswoman and mother to younger popstar daughter Solange provided the fascinating, rich and complicated history which inspired the choice her first born’s unique name during Tuesday’s inaugural episode of In My Head with Heather Thomson Spotify podcast.
Tina said that “Beyoncé” is actually her maiden name even though it’s now widely associated with her famous daughter. “A lot of people don’t know that Beyoncé is my last name, it’s my maiden name” the mother-of-two revealed adding that her full name is Celestine Beyoncé – where Tina is derived from.
The matriarch, who was born in Galveston Texas in 1954, added that it was ‘not a cool thing’ to have that name, alluding to the ongoing racial segregation and discrimination when she was a child, saying she would have preferred her name at the time to be ‘Linda Smith.’
Tina explained that her six siblings do not have the same spelling of her maiden name and it was just her and one brother which had the spelling we all know: B-e-y-o-n-c-é, the other siblings had their surname spelt B-e-y-i-n-c-e.
“I think me and my brother Skip were the only two that had B-E-Y-O-N-C-E,” she said, before explaining why some family members spell the name differently.
“It’s interesting and it shows you the times because we asked my mother when I was grown, “why is my brother’s name spelt B-e-y-i-n-c-e?”… My mum’s reply to me was, “that’s what they put on your birth certificate.” I said, “Why didn’t you argue and make them correct it?” and she said she did the first time and was told, “Be happy that you’re getting a birth certificate because at one time Black people didn’t get birth certificates… because it meant that you really didn’t exist and you weren’t important.”
Knowles-Lawson added that it “must’ve been horrible” for her own mother to “not to even be able to have her children’s names spelled correctly.”
Tina added that the name is French creole descended: “It was an odd name, a weird name, and they were like, “How dare you have a French name? We’re going to screw this up real good for you” and that’s what they did so we all have different spellings.”
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