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Bebe Winans recently performed during the Republican National Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, Florida.

For some African-Americans who tuned in to the Republican National Convention on television, it was actually a surprise to see and hear the gospel singer perform.  Winans performed two numbers on the convention’s closing night — his song “America, America,” from his new CD of the same title, and “America the Beautiful,” as the convention came to an end.

But to those wondering whether Winans was pulling a Clint Eastwood (without the empty chair routine) and endorsing Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, Winans says not so fast.

“Why not be here? Why not be part of the process. It’s all about letting people know that we are Americans first, before any association with any party, so that’s why I’m here,” Winans said after his performance, adding that he hopes to perform at the Democratic convention next week also.

A spokesman for Winans said he was approached by both parties to perform at their presidential nominating conventions, but that the Democratic National Committee balked at his performing at the RNC, while the RNC didn’t mind him doing both. Winans was not paid for his performance.

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