Beyoncé’s ‘Beyincé’ sash is no mere typo: Tina Knowles offered an explanation years ago

Tina Knowles in a black dress, big sunglasses and a gold necklace smiling and posing against a white background
Tina Knowles’ explanation for “Beyincé” has resurfaced a week before daughter Beyoncé drops her “Cowboy Carter” album.
(Evan Agostini / Invision / Associated Press)

Some of Beyoncé’s stylish”Cowboy Carter” imagery traces back to her family tree. Just ask her mother, Tina Knowles.

In the week leading up to her latest drop, Beyoncé released several striking images promoting her forthcoming release, including one in which the “Renaissance” singer seemingly references the Statue of Liberty and its signature raised-arm pose. With long, beaded braids, the pop diva holds a smoky cigar in her right hand, holds her chest with her left hand and poses in the nude, with just a sash covering her up.

“act ii BEYINCÉ,” the red-white-and-blue sash reads. The image fronts limited-edition CDs and vinyls of the album.


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On social media, multiple fans said they did a double take, thinking “Beyincé” was a typo of the singer’s stage name. “WHAT IS BEYINCÉ???? HELP,” wrote a user on X (formerly Twitter), one among the multiple devotees searching for answers.

As some Beyhive members questioned others’ true love for and knowledge of Queen Bey, Knowles’ explanation for the name resurfaced.

Four years ago, the singer’s mother explained that the name originated in a time of “a lot of segregation.” Appearing on an episode of Heather Thomson’s “In My Heart” podcast in September 2020, Knowles revealed “Beyoncé” is her maiden name.

“My name was Celestine Beyoncé, which at that time was not a cool thing to have that weird name,” she said. “I wanted my name to be Linda Smith.”

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Knowles, the youngest of seven children, said she and her brother Skip were the only members of her family to have the “Beyoncé” spelling. “Why is my brother’s name spelled B-E-Y-I-N-C-E?,” Knowles recalled asking her mother.

The Texas-born entrepreneur, 70, said her mom had explained that the alternative spelling was “what they put on your birth certificate.” She continued by sharing that her mother, Agnéz Beyincé, once requested that the documents be corrected but was told, “Be happy that you’re getting a birth certificate.”


“Black people didn’t get birth certificates. They didn’t have certificates because it meant that you really didn’t exist,” Knowles said.

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Decades after the birth-certificate inconsistencies, both “Beyoncé” and “Beyincé” get the spotlight in “Cowboy Carter,” the second act of the singer’s promised “Renaissance” trilogy. The album, which features singles “Texas Hold ‘Em” and “16 Carriages,” may channel Beyoncé’s Southern upbringing, but the 32-Grammy winner set one thing straight with fans: “This ain’t a Country album. This is a ‘Beyoncé’ album.”

“This album has been over five years in the making. It was born out of an experience that I had years ago where I did not feel welcomed … and it was very clear that I wasn’t,” she said Tuesday on Instagram. “But, because of that experience, I did a deeper dive into the history of Country music and studied our rich musical archive. It feels good to see how music can unite so many people around the world, while also amplifying the voices of some of the people who have dedicated so much of their lives educating on our musical history.”

She added: “act ii is a result of challenging myself, and taking my time to bend and blend genres together to create this body of work.”

“Cowboy Carter,” announced during Super Bowl LVIII in February, comes out March 29.