Queen Latifah is an American rapper, songwriter, singer, actress, model, television producer, record producer, and talk show host.
Let’s see some intriguing facts about her!
1. Dana Elaine Owens was born March 18, 1970 in Newark, New Jersey, and lived primarily in East Orange, New Jersey.
2. She is the daughter of Rita (née Bray), a teacher at Irvington High School (Latifah’s alma mater) and Lancelot Owens, Sr, a police officer.
3. Her parents divorced when Latifah was ten.
4. Latifah was raised in the Baptist faith and attended Catholic school in Newark, New Jersey.
5. Her stage name, Latifah (لطيفة laţīfa), meaning “delicate” and “very kind” in Arabic, she found in an Arabic book of names when she was eight.
6. Always tall, the 5-foot-10-inch (1.78 m) Latifah was a power forward on her high school basketball team.
7. She performed the number “Home” from the musical The Wiz in a grammar school play.
8. She started beat boxing for the hip-hop group Ladies Fresh and was an original member of the Flavor Unit, which, at that time, was a crew of MCs grouped around producer DJ King Gemini, who made a demo recording of Queen Latifah’s rap Princess of the Posse.
9. He gave the recording to Fab 5 Freddy, the host of Yo! MTV Raps. The song got the attention of Tommy Boy Music employee Dante Ross, who signed Latifah and in 1988 issued her first single, “Wrath of My Madness”.
10. Her second album, Nature of a Sista (1991), was her final album with Tommy Boy Records.
11. Latifah starred as Khadijah James on the FOX sitcom Living Single, from 1993 to 1998.
12. Her third album Black Reign (1993), spawned the single “U.N.I.T.Y.”, which won a Grammy Award and was successful on the Billboard Hot 100.
13. She then starred in the lead role of Set It Off (1996) and released her fourth album, Order in the Court, in 1998, with Motown Records.
14. Latifah gained mainstream success and acclaim with her performance in the film Chicago (2002), receiving an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.
15. Latifah released her fifth album The Dana Owens Album in 2004, and has since appeared in a number of films, such as Bringing Down the House (2003), Taxi (2004), Barbershop 2: Back in Business (2005), Beauty Shop (2005), Last Holiday (2006), Hairspray (2007) and Joyful Noise (2012). In 2007 and 2009, she released two more studio albums – Trav’lin’ Light and Persona.
16. She created the daytime talk show The Queen Latifah Show, which ran from late 2013 to early 2015 on CBS.
17. Latifah received critical acclaim for her portrayal of blues singer Bessie Smith in the HBO film Bessie (2015), which she co-produced, winning the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Television Movie.
18. She has long been considered one of hip-hop’s pioneer feminists.
19. Queen Latifah received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2006.
20. Latifah’s work in music, film and television has earned her a Grammy Award, an Emmy Award, a Golden Globe award, three Screen Actors Guild Awards, two NAACP Image Awards, an Academy Award nomination and sales of over two million records.
21. Raised in East Orange, New Jersey, Latifah has been a resident of Colts Neck, New Jersey; Rumson, New Jersey and Beverly Hills, California.
22. Latifah’s older brother, Lancelot Jr., was killed in 1992 in an accident involving a motorcycle that Latifah had recently purchased for him.
23. A 2006 interview revealed that Latifah still wears the key to the motorcycle around her neck, visible throughout her performance in her sitcom Living Single.
24. She also dedicated Black Reign to him. In her 1999 autobiography, Ladies First: Revelations of a Strong Woman, Latifah discussed how her brother’s death had led to a bout of depression and drug abuse, from which she later recovered.
25. In 1995, Latifah was the victim of a carjacking, which also resulted in the shooting of her boyfriend, Sean Moon.
26. In 1996, she was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana and possession of a loaded handgun.
27. In 2002, she was arrested for driving under the influence in Los Angeles County. She was placed on three years’ probation after being convicted.
28. She also works out with a trainer for kickboxing.
29. Latifah was asked by Maya Angelou, who was unable to attend, to recite a poem written by Angelou at the memorial service for Michael Jackson in July 2009.
30. Disagreements between Foxy Brown and Queen Latifah ensued in mid-1996, where media reports indicated that Brown was a prime target in Latifah’s diss record “Name Callin'”, which was featured in the movie soundtrack Set It Off.
31. In response, Brown made allegations of Latifah “checking her out” at musical events and had even gone further to question Latifah’s sexuality in various public radio interviews. In 1998, Brown released a diss record titled “10% Dis”, where she continually questioned Latifah’s sexuality and accused her of being jealous.
32. By late spring of 1998, Latifah responded to Brown through another diss record titled, “Name Callin’ Part II”.
33. In the record, Latifah disses Brown about her heavy reliance on sex-appeal, in which she implies that Brown has to rely on skimpy outfits to hide her “half-assed flow”.
34. Foxy Brown retaliated via a response-diss record titled “Talk to Me”, in which Brown made fun of the ratings of Latifah’s television talk show and went on to make various homophobic remarks to both Latifah and then–newcomer Queen Pen.
35. A significant part of media dubbed Latifah as “the winner” of the feud.
36. Hip-hop magazine ego trip stated that Latifah won the feud with her diss record “Name Callin’ Part II” and added that she showed that “the lady’s still first”, in reference to Latifah’s 1990 single, “Ladies First”.
37. In 2000, Brown and Latifah reconciled; to show truce, Brown performed her song “Na Na Be Like” on The Queen Latifah Show