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Beyoncé accepts the Best R&B Performance award for 'Black Parade' onstage during the 63rd Annual GRAMMY Awards at Los Angeles Convention Center on March 14, 2021 in Los Angeles, California.

If you are anything like me, you picked up on the references Beyoncé made to Uncle Johnny in Renaissance, and your brain starting churning.

“My dress came from Johnny!” I was losing it, Johnny who? Have I completely missed and entire designer. I would like a dress from Johnny too Queen Bey! Finally I did my research and what I found was so much more heartwarming than discovering a new Designer.

Beyoncé was making reference to her “Uncle” Johnny who she lost to a battle with HIV when she was 17. Johnny was Mama Tina’s nephew, but they were so close in age that Bey and Solange called him Uncle Johnny. He was also their Godmother, and Queen Bey dedicated Renaissance to him on a note she wrote to her fans.

“A big thank you to my Uncle Johnny,” Beyoncé said on her official website. “He was my godmother and the first person to expose me to a lot of the music and culture that serve as inspiration for this album. Thank you to all of the pioneers who originate culture, to all of the fallen angels whose contributions have gone unrecognized for far too long. This is a celebration for you.”

Mama Tina was so touched she released her own statement and stories about her nephew Johnny on her Instagram account:

“Johnny was the closest human being in the world to me we were inseparable growing up,” Tina Lawson said. “Later He was my nanny / housekeeper / designer / Dance partner / confident and bestie. I laughed constantly with him and trusted him unconditionally! When he died a piece of me went with him. Solange and Beyoncé worshiped him. He helped me raise them. And influenced their sense of style and uniqueness.”

Beyonce also dedicated her GLAAD Media Vanguard Award to her Uncle Johnny. Here’s the speech.

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