Queen Latifah Biography
Review The Artist (79)
(b. March 18, 1970, Newark, N.J.), African American rap artist, actress, entertainment executive, and entrepreneur.
Queen Latifah, born Dana Owens in Newark, New Jersey, was nicknamed "Latifah" (which means "delicate" and "sensitive" in Arabic) at the age of eight by a black Muslim cousin. Soon afterward her parents separated, and Latifah moved with her mother, Rita, and older brother, Lance Jr., into a housing project in East Newark.
Drawing upon several African American dance forms, break dancing coalesced in the 1970s and reached its peak in popularity during the 1980s.
Determined to offer her children a better life, Rita Owens worked two jobs while attending community college. She eventually took a position as an art teacher at Irvington High School, and the family moved to a house on Littleton Avenue in Newark.
In second grade, Latifah was found to be intellectually gifted. Her mother stretched the family finances so that her daughter could attend Saint Anne's parochial school, where Latifah first performed as Dorothy in her school's production of The Wiz.
In high school, the popular Latifah played power forward on the school's basketball team. During her sophomore year, she began rapping with two friends in an all-women's group called Ladies Fresh. Encouraged by her mother, she began recording and performing, and added "Queen" to her nickname.
Latifah was attending the Borough of Manhattan Community College in Manhattan when a demo tape featuring her rap "Princess of the Posse" made its way to Tommy Boy Records, based in New York City. She was quickly signed by the label, and in 1988, she released two singles, "Wrath of My Madness" and "Dance for Me." In 1989 she toured Europe, appeared at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, and issued her first album, All Hail the Queen, to wide acclaim. The album earned her the Best New Artist Award for 1990 by the New Music Seminar of Manhattan, and subsquently went platinum. Its second single, "Ladies First," celebrated black women's contributions to the struggle for black liberation in America, Africa, and around the world. It became a rap classic, eventually named by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as one of the 500 Songs That Shaped Rock 'n' Roll.
By the time her second album Nature of a Sista' came out in 1991, Queen Latifah had begun investing in small businesses in her neighborhood, and acting both in television and movies (including Spike Lee's Jungle Fever, 1992). These successes were marred by contract conflicts that caused her to leave Tommy Boy, and by her brother's tragic death in a motorcycle accident in 1992.
After signing with Motown in 1993, Latifah released her third album, Black Reign, and with her newfound clout, founded Flavor Unit Records and Management, which primarily handles rap and new-style rhythm and blues groups. "U.N.I.T.Y," the album's first single, denounced sexist attitudes and violence against women. Latifah also landed a regular spot on the highly rated television sitcom, Living Single, which lasted five seasons.
Over the next few years, the Queen went on to more film roles, including the critically acclaimed portrayal of Cleo, a lesbian bank robber in 1996's Set It Off. She also produced and guest-starred on various musical projects, managed Flavor Unit artists, and worked for numerous causes, including antidrug campaigns.
In 1997 Queen Latifah was awarded the Aretha Franklin Award for Entertainer of the Year at the Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards. She released her fourth album, Order in the Court, in 1998.
Contributed By: Marc Mazique
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a child with a story | Reviewer: elizabeth mcfall | 3/18/14
i think this stated everything bout queen latifah but i have to say she is one of my most role models. even though i have never met her i feel like with out her being here and showing me that its okay to be you i dont know where i would be with-out her words of self-esteam and advise
The Queen Latifah Reign | Reviewer: Kisha Oglesby | 7/8/13
As I looked through my magazines I came across MORE which graces your beautiful smiling cover photo and I gazed into your eyes wondering what it would be like to meet you in person and then I researched your history in the entertainment and came across a young lady's story about how you attended her aunt's retirement office party and was so down to earth and gave everyone a hug and reading that just brought tears to my eyes. To think of you not being afraid to give a hug and to say a coupler words of encouragement to another human being. That's awesome news to read about someone such as yourself. I hope I get to meet you in person some day. Keep up to excellent work. And may God keep you continually.
queenlatifah and covergirl | Reviewer: stephanie tacey | 4/2/13
dana ownes you are a wonderful in your movies and I love you so bottom my heart you are a good actress your movies my flvorte movie is joyful noise keep doing your movies and my addrssa 5805 w redfield rd Glendale az 85306 ps write soon love Stephanie tacey im get marry soon I have boyfriend name paul keena
queen latifah | Reviewer: farhiya | 3/27/13
I love the thig she did .I like that she work hard in what she belive in on she is a act, mucsi writ she sould be pour of her self .She sould be thank her mother of help in her childhood becaues she help her.She is a intellcaul woman.Her mucsi is beautifull people sould fowoll in her foot step.She is smart and beaufullshe improve in her self.when her parent separate she had to go wait her mother i thing that she didn't see her that much.Her brother wait her mother to he sail houes.Her dad is pour of her they sould becaues comes form rapp to a jazz,and movies act.She improve more than u thing
This Is For You Queen Latifah =) | Reviewer: jasmine | 3/19/13
i was doing a speech on you. and i didnt no what to say until i started looking on your biography and it told me every thing i needed to know at this point and plus you are my favorite movie actress in set it off.
A Pleasure meeting the Queen | Reviewer: Anonymous | 1/14/13
Queen Latifah, it was a pleasure meeting you on 9 January 2013, when you came to your Aunt Angel job for her retirement. Although it was a little mix up, you still showed up. I will never forget that day. Queen Latifah you gave everybody who met you a hug and that meant so much to us. We are still talking about it to this day. You are so down to earth and very sweet. You just don't know how much you touched us in the office with your kindness and of course HUGS. We love you. We can say, you are one sister that have not forgetten where she came from and we love you for that. GOD bless you and continue to grow.
Dear queen Latifah | Reviewer: Alessandra Nackoul | 11/21/12
I love your songs and your movies you are very funny queen Latifah I love you when I'm an adult I will help people with computers because I'm good with them and just to let you know my name is Alessandra
Dear Queen Latifah | Reviewer: Alessandra Nackoul | 10/10/12
I love your songs and your movies my favorite movie is joyful noise my mothers favorite movie is last holiday there are 2 things that I like about you and those things are the sound of your voice and the way you look but most of all I love you my name is Alessandra Kirr Nackoul I know that you were born on march 18 1970 well I was born on march 6 1995 my father and I brought your album the Dana Owens album
Dear Queen Latifa | Reviewer: Gerardo L.Louis | 6/19/12
I watch all your movies since i was little and you are a very stunning women,I admire you for being so strong and humble from the death of your brother,god is watching over you and your loved ones.God bless you.Oh,i have a question, what is your daughters name?Because i've seen your daughter in alot of movies and seen that she has talent of being an actress,but the thing is I never knew her name.
Appreciation | Reviewer: Heather | 3/23/11
I must say that God has Blessed us by you being who you are. I admire your foreward thinking, speaking out against wrong and fearless ambition. I can only pray my daughter who is courageous has the kind of centering that is so obvious in you. I am opening a home for women who are trapped in the servitude (slavery) of the sex industry soon I hope and reading and watching how women of strength such as your amazing mother and now you, help remind me All things are possible with God. So I hope you read this and you are encouraged and know that beyond the exterior your lovely heart and beautiful mind glows far exceeding of any outer beauty that could be known to man. As all of our true beauty flows from within. If you ever get around my way I'd like to take you to lunch and chat if you have the time, I'm sure there are lots of things we could talk about....like regular folks, nothing special. Heather from Madison Wi
If i ever seen you in real life i would say....... | Reviewer: Anonymous | 1/28/11
I DONT KNOW IF MS.DANA IS REALLY READING THIS BT I HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY....
I look up to you to the fullest!!Your number 1 in my book.....you helped so many people in this cold world that you couldnt even count...if i seen you in person i would have alot of questions to ask you but i wouldnt ask you in a way that would make you wanna call 5-0 on me....im 15 years old n my birthday is in three months n if i had one wist....i would wist that you would come ta my birthday party because it would mean so much ta me(=I THANK YOU FOR ALL THAT YOU HAVE DONE IN YOUR LIFE AN I HOPE THAT ONE DAY I CAN SEE YOU IN PERSON...LOVE YOU GIRL
dear queen | Reviewer: "cant tell | 10/23/10
i'm doing this report about you for reading im in middle school an just think your the best thing ntil god your my role model .and your a brave girl to achieve your goals in life despite the chalenges you face.
Thank you for being my role model
Research Paper Over Oueen Latifah | Reviewer: Lucinda Six | 10/21/10
Hello im lucinda im a sophmore in high school and im doing a research paper on you and i wondering if you could tell me about you and some about you family(: if you can help me please send it to my email firstname.lastname@example.org thank you.
Cover girl | Reviewer: Deborah Thompson | 7/12/10
I am doing a paper on you for my 'Women's Gender Studies' class at college. I've been out of school for 20 yrs. and your the only real woman I know to even remotely talk about that has spunk, style, and beauty! Keep it coming!
Re Pink Dress with seqeunse | Reviewer: Letitia Cloete | 4/17/10
Iam from South Afrca and have a daughter who is in grade 12 and want to have the Pink Dress with the detail by the neck that she had on with one of her red carpet moments.I am willing to pay for it just to make the day that she will never forget.Thank You
Mrs Letitia Cloete
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