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For some African-Americans who tuned in to the Republican National Convention on television, one surprise might have been gospel singer Bebe Winans.

The popular gospel singer 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 told theGrio 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 Natioanl Committee balked at his performing at the RNC, while the RNC didn’t mind him doing both. Winans was not paid for his performance.

Winans said he is “still listening” to what both presidential candidates has to say, though he has “mostly made up his mind,” though he wouldn’t say for who. He was firm in saying his performance at the RNC was not an endorsement of Mitt Romney.

It was “important to me to sing the song that I sung,” said Winans, adding that the original tune “asks America to come together, because if we unite, then there’s nothing we can’t accomplish.”

“So my being here, there’s no dollar fee. Haven’t made a dime, but I’m glad I came.”

Follow Joy Reid on Twitter at @thereidreport

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