The "Pony" singer, who competed on 'The Masked Singer' as Husky, also tells PEOPLE why he went on the show despite it being "not my thing"
The R&B singer, 53, unmasked as Husky on Wednesday’s Rock Night, which also saw Tiki — aka Sebastian Bach — go home. Ginuwine tells PEOPLE he initially felt hesitant about going on The Masked Singer.
“At first, I didn't really want to do it,” Ginuwine admits. “I'm pretty much a reserved person. I'm not a TV guy or nothing, but I wanted to come out my comfort zone. It took a little bit of persuasion, but I said, ‘You got to do it for yourself and come out of your comfort zone. You got to live a little,’ so I decided to do it.”
Ginuwine just missed competing in the finale, but “ultimately, it was fun,” he says of his Masked Singer experience. “I'll never forget it.”
PEOPLE: What did you learn about yourself by going on The Masked Singer? Even Nick Cannon said after your unmasking that he didn’t think you’d do the show.
GINUWINE: A lot of people that know me know that's not my lane. That's not stuff that I do. I've turned down movies and all kinds of stuff like that. That's just not my thing. Just like anything else that I've done in my life, if I set out to do it, I see it all the way through, so that's something I was glad that I did do. Usually when I'm doing my shows and being on the road, I pretty much go to the place, go to the hotel, do the show and come on back home. So I got an opportunity to travel a little more and relax and do something that was different.
Why were you drawn to the Husky costume?
I was happy about it being the Husky because it represents who I am as a person. I'm a hard worker, alpha male, all that good stuff. Seeing the costume and being in the costume was two different things, but it was definitely a representation of who I am.
How did it feel performing as Husky?
That was a little task for me to overcome. It was very hot, very uncomfortable for me. But once I got into it and people started screaming and you get into the whole show and production of it all, I zone in and stick to what I set out to do. It helped me finish it.
So you relied on a the energy of the crowd to power through?
Absolutely. That's been my whole career. The crowd is loving it, I'm loving it and it takes my mind off of any uncomfortable situation that I'm in. Being in that costume was truly uncomfortable, but once I got out there and started doing my thing, I was able to go see it through.
What did you make of some of the judges' guesses for you? You got Babyface, Tyrese Gibson, Terrence Howard…
I was absolutely laughing under the costume. That kept me cool up under there because it was funny, and I was happy that they weren't getting it right off the bat. Anybody that's been to my concerts, they know how I usually would sound. Because I was pretty much hoarse, I think that was a plus because my voice is very distinctive. I know Robin Thicke and I know Nick Cannon, so I was like, I'm glad I'm not sounding like myself.
Did you try to pick songs that didn't sound like something you would normally perform?
I thought that was the genius of the show, of picking those songs, because if I had an opportunity to pick the songs that I liked, they would get me right off the bat. So for them to choose the songs that they chose, at first, I was a little agitated, but I understood it.
Do you have any guesses for any of the remaining contestants?
No, I haven't been watching because I've been out of the country and out of town a lot, but I wouldn't watch myself anyway. I don't usually watch myself on movies or TV or stuff like that. It's uncomfortable for me.
In one of your clue packages, you talked about the deaths of your parents. How did you cope?
That process was a struggle for me. I'm sure anybody can understand that. But as I said, being an alpha male, being a person with a strong mind, strong-willed, I was able to continue. You never forget, but you're able to continue and your days get better. Me continuing to work hard, that's how I honor my mom and my dad. They always hoped that I would conquer my love for music and performing, and they were able to see that and enjoy it for a few years of my career.
Your career has spanned 27 years. Which song or project do fans recognize you most for these days?
“Pony” has been such a strong song and has been used so many times by other huge artists, so it keeps me relevant and keeps me out there. It's definitely one of those songs that's going to be here and has stood the test of time, and I'm just glad I'm a part of it.
Your name came up in Britney Spears' memoir because she claimed Justin Timberlake put on a blaccent while meeting you. Did you hear about that?
Yeah, yeah, I definitely heard about it. People were calling about that. But I can tell you I don't remember that happening. I truly don't remember that happening. If Justin would've did something like that, I probably would've looked at him like, "Why are you acting like that?" If he did that, that would be something that I would remember. That would've definitely stuck out. So nah, I don't remember that happening.
Had you been getting calls from people suspecting you were on The Masked Singer?
Definitely. I've gotten calls, but of course, I didn't validate anything. I was like, "Oh man, I wouldn't do no show like that. I like the show, but that's just not me. I wouldn't have done that." But of course, my kids knew, because they watch the show a lot, and they're the ones that actually turned me on to the show. I'm happy that I did it.
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The Masked Singer airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.
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