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The fashion designer and businesswoman, 66, spoke about the unique moniker during Tuesday's inaugural episode of In My Head with Heather Thomson podcast, sharing that "Beyoncé" is actually her maiden name even though it's now a handle widely associated with her famous daughter.
"A lot of people don’t know that Beyoncé is my last name. It’s my maiden name," she said. "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."
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The matriarch, who is also mom to singer Solange, went on to say that only several people in her family have the "Beyoncé" last name.
Due to a clerical error, others — such as her brother and his children — now have "Beyincé" as their surname, according to Knowles-Lawson.
"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. 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 said. "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?' " the House of Deréon founder 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."
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."
"So we all have different spellings," she said. "People don't even put the two together and know that's the same name."
A post shared by Tina Knowles (@mstinalawson) on Jan 5, 2019 at 10:47am PST
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Knowles-Lawson took on a different surname when she married Beyoncé’s father and former manager Mathew Knowles. The couple split in 2009 after more than three decades together and finalized their divorce in 2011.
The mom married actor Richard Lawson in 2015.
Last week, Knowles-Lawson shared a heartwarming throwback image of herself with her daughter Beyoncé and her granddaughter Blue Ivy, reminiscing about having the three generations together amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic that is still keeping many loved ones separated.
"Wow I miss them❤️," she wrote in the caption.
A post shared by Tina Knowles (@mstinalawson) on Sep 10, 2020 at 4:01pm PDT
Knowles-Lawson recently opened up to PEOPLE about how she was faring while being away from her family, revealing she calls or FaceTimes Blue and her 3-year-old twin siblings Sir and Rumi "every day."
But in one such chat session, Rumi got a little confused about why she couldn't see her grandma through the phone, as her mom wasn't using a smartphone.
"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," Knowles-Lawson 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."