Queen Latifah

Queen Latifah
Queen Latifah

Latifah at the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival.
Background information
Birth name Dana Elaine Owens
Born March 18, 1970 (1970-03-18) (age 41)
Origin Newark, New Jersey, U.S.
Genres R&B, soul, jazz, hip hop, gospel
Occupations Singer-songwriter, rapper, actress
Instruments Piano, vocals
Years active 1988–present
Labels Verve
A&M/Interscope Records
Motown/PolyGram Records
Tommy Boy/Warner Bros. Records
Associated acts Andrae Crouch and his Choir
L.A. Mass Choir
Lakim Shabazz
Chill Rob G
DJ Mark the 45 King
De La Soul
Jungle Brothers
A Tribe Called Quest
Website QueenLatifah.com

Dana Elaine Owens (born March 18, 1970),[1] better known by her stage name Queen Latifah, is an American singer, rapper, and actress. Her work in music, film and television has earned her a Golden Globe award, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, two Image Awards, a Grammy Award, six additional Grammy nominations, an Emmy Award nomination and an Academy Award nomination.


Early life

Latifah was born and raised primarily in East Orange, New Jersey (she briefly resided in the Co-op City section of the Bronx from 1980 to 1984).[2] The daughter of Rita (née Bray), a schoolteacher who worked at Irvington High School, and Lancelot Owens, Sr., a police officer,[3][4][5] her parents divorced when Latifah was ten.[5] Latifah was raised in the Baptist church[6] and attended Catholic school in Newark, New Jersey.[7][8] Her stage name, Latifah (لطيفة), meaning "delicate" and "very kind" in Arabic, was given to her by her cousin when she was eight.[5] Always a tall girl, the 5'10" Latifah was a power forward on her high school basketball team.[9][10] She performed the number "Home" from the musical The Wiz in a high school play.[11]

Music career

Beginning (1988–1989)

She started beatboxing for the hip hop group Ladies Fresh and was one of the members of the original version of the Flavor Unit, which, at that time, was a crew of MCs grouped around producer DJ Mark the 45 King, who made a demo recording of Queen Latifah's rap Princess of the Posse. 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."

Rhyming (1989–2002)

Freddy helped Latifah sign with Tommy Boy Records, which released Latifah's first album All Hail the Queen in 1989, when she was nineteen.[5] That year, she appeared as Referee on the UK label Music of Life album 1989—The Hustlers Convention (live). In 1998, Co Produced by Ro Smith, now CEO of Def Ro Inc., she released her fourth hip-hop album Order in the Court, which was released by Motown Records

Singing (2003–2007)

After Order in the Court, Latifah shifted primarily to singing soul music and jazz standards, which she had used sparingly in her previous hip-hop-oriented records. In 2004, she released the soul/jazz standards The Dana Owens Album. On July 11, 2007, Latifah sang at the famed Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles as the headlining act in a live jazz concert. Before a crowd of more than 12,400, she was backed by a 10-piece live orchestra and three backup vocalists, which was billed as the Queen Latifah Orchestra. Latifah performed new arrangements of standards including "California Dreaming", first made popular by '60s icons The Mamas & the Papas. Later in 2007, Latifah released an album titled Trav'lin' Light. Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Joe Sample, George Duke, Christian McBride, and Stevie Wonder made guest appearances.[12] It was nominated for a Grammy in the "Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album" category.[13]

In 2009, Latifah, along with the Jubilation Choir, recorded the title track on the album Oh, Happy Day: An All-Star Music Celebration, covering the song that the Edwin Hawkins Singers made popular in 1969.[14]

Return to hip hop (2008–present)

In 2008, Latifah was asked if she would make another hip-hop album. She was quoted saying the album was done already and it would be called "All Hail the Queen II". It was rumored that the album would be named "The 'L' Word". When asked about the rumor, she stated it was her attempt to "mess with people's heads" referring to rumors that she is lesbian".[15] The song "Cue the Rain" was released as the album's lead single. She also has a song with Missy Elliott.[16] 2011 saw Queen Latifah sing "Who Can I Turn To" in a duet with Tony Bennett for his album "Duets II". [17]

Film and television

Early career (1991–2001)

From 1993–1998, Latifah had a starring role on Living Single, a Fox sitcom, which gained high ratings among black audiences;[5] she also wrote and performed its theme music. Her mother Rita played her mother on-screen.[18] She began her film career in supporting roles in the 1991 and 1992 films House Party 2, Juice and Jungle Fever. She had her own talk show, The Queen Latifah Show, from 1999 to 2001. She also had recurring roles during the second season (1991–1992) of the NBC hit The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. She made a guest role as herself on Hangin' with Mr. Cooper in 1993. Latifah appeared in the 1996 box-office hit, Set It Off and subsequently had a supporting role in the Holly Hunter film Living Out Loud (1998).[5] She played the role of Thelma in the 1999 movie The Bone Collector, alongside Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie.

Mainstream success (2002–present)

Queen Latifah performing at the “Kids Inaugural: We Are the Future” concert in 2009

Although she had already received some critical acclaim, she gained mainstream success after being cast as Matron "Mama" Morton in the Oscar-winning film adaptation of the musical Chicago, the recipient of the Best Picture Oscar.[5] Latifah received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her role, but lost to co-star Catherine Zeta-Jones.[5] Latifah is one of three hip-hop artists to receive an Academy Award nomination in an acting category (Best Supporting Actress, Chicago, 2002). The others are Will Smith (Best Actor, Ali, 2001, and Best Actor, The Pursuit of Happyness, 2006), and Mark Wahlberg (Best Supporting Actor, "The Departed", 2006).

In 2003, she starred with Steve Martin in the film Bringing Down the House, which was a major success at the box office.[5] She also recorded a song "Do Your Thing" for the soundtrack. Since then, she has had both leading and supporting roles in a multitude of films that received varied critical and box office receptions, including films such as Scary Movie 3, Barbershop 2: Back in Business, Taxi, Kung Faux, Beauty Shop, and Hairspray. In early 2006, Latifah appeared in a romantic comedy/drama entitled Last Holiday.[5] Film critic Richard Roeper stated that "this is the Queen Latifah performance I've been waiting for ever since she broke into movies".[19] Also in 2006, Latifah voiced Ellie, a friendly mammoth, in the animated film, Ice Age: The Meltdown (her first voice appearance in an animated film), and also appeared in the drama Stranger Than Fiction.

The summer of 2007 brought Latifah triple success in the big-screen version of the Broadway smash hit Hairspray, in which she acted, sang, and danced. The film rated highly with critics. It starred, among others, John Travolta (Grease), Michelle Pfeiffer (Stardust), Allison Janney (Juno), James Marsden (Enchanted), Christopher Walken (Catch Me If You Can) and Zac Efron (High School Musical). Also in 2007, she portrayed an HIV-positive woman in the film Life Support, a role for which she garnered her first Golden Globe Award, Screen Actors Guild Award and an Emmy nomination. For her work, Queen Latifah received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, on January 4, 2006, located at 6915 Hollywood Blvd.

Latifah produced the 2007 film The Perfect Holiday. In addition to producing the film, Latifah starred alongside Terrence Howard, Morris Chestnut, Gabrielle Union, Charles Q. Murphy, Jill Marie Jones, and Faizon Love.[20] In 2008, Latifah appeared in the crime comedy Mad Money opposite Academy Award-winner Diane Keaton as well as Katie Holmes and Ted Danson. She appeared on Saturday Night Live on October 4, 2008, as moderator Gwen Ifill impersonator in a comedic sketch depicting the recent vice-presidential debate.[21] In 2009, Latifah was a presenter at the 81st Academy Awards, presenting the segment honoring film professionals who had died during 2008 and singing "I'll Be Seeing You" during the montage. Latifah spoke at Michael Jackson's memorial service in Los Angeles. She also hosted the 2010 People's Choice Awards. Latifah sang America the Beautiful at Super Bowl XLIV hosted in Miami, Florida on February 7, 2010 with Carrie Underwood. Latifah hosted the 2010 BET Awards on June 27, 2010. She is scheduled to appear in the forthcoming Joyful Noise with Dolly Parton.[22]

Products and endorsements

Latifah is a celebrity spokesperson for CoverGirl cosmetics, Curvation ladies underwear, Pizza Hut and Jenny Craig.[23] She represents her own line of cosmetics for women of color called the CoverGirl Queen Collection.[24] Latifah has also launched a perfume line called "Queen."

Personal life

Raised in East Orange, New Jersey, she has been a resident of Colts Neck, New Jersey.[25]

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.

Family tragedies

Latifah's older brother, Lancelot Jr., was killed in 1992 in an accident involving a motorcycle that Latifah had recently bought him.[5] Latifah still wears the key to the motorcycle around her neck,[5] which can be seen throughout her performance in her sitcom Living Single. 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. In 1993, Latifah was the victim of a carjacking, which also resulted in the shooting of a friend.

Legal issues

In 1996, she was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana and possession of a loaded handgun.[26]

Breast reduction surgery

In early 2003, Latifah had breast reduction surgery which downsized her F size breasts to a double D cup size, as a way to reduce back and shoulder pain. She also works out with a trainer and kickboxes.[27]

Sexual orientation

For years, there has been speculation about Latifah's sexual orientation, as she has never been seen with or spoken about a male partner.[28][29] On May 14, 2010, The Advocate, the largest gay and lesbian magazine in the United States, wrote that Queen Latifah and her personal trainer, Jeanette Jenkins, purchased a home together in the Hollywood Hills and placed both of their names on the deed. Some magazines have suggested that because of this, they are living together as partners. However, speculation aside, no concrete information can be provided regarding her sexual orientation.[30]



  • Sugar Water Festival Tour (2005), (2006)

Queen Latifah, Jill Scott & Erykah Badu joined together to create and own the rights to the Sugar Water Festival Tour, LLC. All three performers toured together, while inviting music duo Floetry in 2005 and singer Kelis in 2006 as opening acts. Comedian/actress Mo'Nique served as host for the 2006 Sugar Water Tour.


Year Film Role Notes
1991 Jungle Fever Lashawn
House Party 2 Zora
1992 Juice Ruffhouse M.C.
1993 Who's the Man? cameo role
1993 My Life Theresa
1996 Set It Off Cleopatra 'Cleo' Sims American Black Film Festival Award for Best Actress
Nominated — Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female
Nominated — NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture
1997 Hoodlum Sulie
1998 Living Out Loud Liz Bailey Nominated — NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
Sphere Alice "Teeny" Fletcher
1999 The Bone Collector Thelma Nominated — Black Reel Award for Theatrical – Best Supporting Actress
Nominated — NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
Bringing Out the Dead Dispatcher Love
2002 Chicago Matron "Mama" Morton Black Reel Award for Theatrical – Best Supporting Actress
Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Cast
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Nominated — Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
Nominated — Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Cast
Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Roberto Benigni's Pinocchio Dove (English voice)
Brown Sugar Francine Nominated — NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture
The Country Bears Cha-Cha
2003 Scary Movie 3 Aunt Shaneequa
Bringing Down the House Charlene Morton Producer

NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture
Nominated — BET Comedy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Box Office Movie
Nominated — Black Reel Award for Film – Best Actress
Nominated — Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Award for Favorite Movie Actress

2004 Taxi Belle
The Cookout Security Guard (also producer)
Barbershop 2: Back in Business Gina BET Comedy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Box Office Movie
2005 Beauty Shop Gina Norris Producer

Nominated — BET Comedy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Theatrical Film
Nominated — Black Movie Award for Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
Nominated — Black Reel Award for Film – Best Actress
Nominated — NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture

2006 Stranger Than Fiction Penny Escher
Ice Age: The Meltdown Ellie Voice

Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Award for Favorite Voice from an Animated Movie

Last Holiday Georgia Byrd Nominated — Black Movie Award for Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
Nominated — NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture
2007 Hairspray Motormouth Maybelle Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Cast
Hollywood Film Festival Award for Best Ensemble Cast
Nominated — Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Song
Nominated — NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
The Perfect Holiday Mrs. Christmas Producer
2008 Mad Money Nina Brewster
What Happens in Vegas... Dr. Twitchell
The Secret Life of Bees August Boatwright Black Reel Award for Best Actress
Hollywood Film Festival Award for Best Ensemble Cast
Nominated — Black Reel Award for Best Ensemble
Nominated — NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture
2009 Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs Ellie Voice
2010 Valentine's Day Paula Thomas Nominated- Teen Choice Award for Movie Actress Romantic Comedy (Also for Just Wright)
Just Wright Leslie Wright Producer

Nominated- Teen Choice Award for Movie Actress Romantic Comedy (Also for Valentine's Day)
Nominated- Black Reel Award for Best Actress
Nominated- Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture

2011 The Dilemma Susan Warner
2012 Ice Age: Continental Drift Ellie Voice
Joyful Noise Vi Rose Hill
Television Films
Year Title Role Notes
1998 Mama Flora's Family Diana
2002 Living with the Dead Midge Harmon
2005 The Muppets' Wizard of Oz Aunt Em
2007 Life Support Ana Producer

Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film
Gracie Allen Award for Outstanding Female Lead – Drama Series or Special
NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie
Nominated — Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – Miniseries or a Movie
Nominated — Prism Award for Performance in a TV Movie or Miniseries
Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film

Year Title Role Notes
1993–1998 Living Single Khadijah James Main Role
Television guest appearances
Year Title Role Notes
1991 The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Dee Dee / Marissa Redman (2 episodes)
Whitest Kids You Know Cameo in skit "Sex Robot"
2001 Spin City Robin Jones
2004 Eve Simone (1 episode)
The Fairly Oddparents Pam Dromeda
2008 Sweet Blackberry Presents ?
Entourage Herself
2010 30 Rock Regina Bookman


  1. ^ Jason Buchanan, Allmovie (2008). "Queen Latifah:Biography". MSN. http://movies.msn.com/celebrities/celebrity-biography/queen-latifah.1/. Retrieved September 4, 2008. 
  2. ^ On Da Come Up with Clap Cognac from HipHopRuckus.com, date February 24, 2009. Retrieved June 13, 2009
  3. ^ Hyman, Vicki (July 18, 2007). "The Queen holds court". The Star-Ledger. http://www.nj.com/entertainment/ledger/index.ssf?/base/entertainment-1/118473419494000.xml&coll=1. Retrieved July 21, 2007. 
  4. ^ Witchel, Alex (October 5, 2008). "Her Highness Still Rules". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/05/magazine/05latifah-t.html?pagewanted=print. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Stated in interview on Inside the Actors Studio, 2006
  6. ^ Queen Latifah Discusses God, Jesus, Rap, and Her New Movie, 'Last Holiday,' in this Beliefnet Interview –. Beliefnet.com. Retrieved on 2011-10-01.
  7. ^ Winfrey, Oprah (July 15, 2007). "Queen Latifah's Aha! Moment". The Oprah Winfrey Show. http://www.oprah.com/spirit/Queen-Latifahs-Aha-Moment. Retrieved September 16, 2010. 
  8. ^ Rochlin, Margy (October, 2008). "Queen Latifah: Queen Bee". Reader's Digest. http://www.rd.com/your-america-inspiring-people-and-stories/queen-latifah-queen-bee-interview/article99958.html. Retrieved September 19, 2010. 
  9. ^ bio. People.com. Retrieved on 2011-10-01.
  10. ^ "'Queen' Of Many Hats". CBS News. January 8, 2003. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/01/08/earlyshow/leisure/celebspot/main535725.shtml. 
  11. ^ Queen Latifah | Music Artist | Videos, News, Photos & Ringtones. MTV (1970-03-18). Retrieved on 2011-10-01.
  12. ^ "LATIFAH OPENING FATBURGER IN MIAMI: Plus, new album due September 25". EURweb. July 17, 2007. http://www.eurweb.com/story/eur35097.cfm. 
  13. ^ GRAMMY.com[dead link]
  14. ^ "Jon Bon Jovi, Queen Latifah go gospel for "Day"". Reuters. March 27, 2009. http://www.reuters.com/article/musicNews/idUSTRE52Q6WQ20090327. 
  15. ^ "Lesbian album scares Queen Latifah". lesbilicious.co.uk. http://www.lesbilicious.co.uk/music/lesbian-album-scares-queen-latifah/. 
  16. ^ "Queen Latifah Returns to Hip-Hop With Dre on LP She Nearly Named "The L Word"". http://www.rollingstone.com/rockdaily/index.php/2008/09/12/queen-latifah-returns-to-hip-hop-with-dr-dre-on-lp-she-nearly-named-the-l-word/. 
  17. ^ "iTunes – Music – Duets II by Tony Bennett". http://itunes.apple.com/au/album/duets-ii/id462337212/. 
  18. ^ "In Its 4th Season 'Living Single' Still Tops With Black Viewers". Jet. 5 May 1997. http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=ejkDAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA36. Retrieved 11 July 2010. 
  19. ^ Roger Ebert; Richard Roeper (January 9, 2006). "Reviews for the Weekend of January 7–8, 2006". Movies.com. http://tvplex.go.com/buenavista/ebertandroeper/060109.html. Retrieved February 16, 2007. 
  20. ^ Roz Stevenson (March 1, 2006). "Queen Latifah Makes Animated Film Debut". EURWeb.com. http://eurweb.com/story/eur25611.cfm. Retrieved February 16, 2007. 
  21. ^ Saturday Night Live – All Videos : Newest – Videos. NBC.com. Retrieved on 2011-10-01.
  22. ^ Ziegbe, Mawuse. (2010-08-21) Queen Latifah, Dolly Parton To Make 'Joyful Noise' – Music, Celebrity, Artist News. MTV. Retrieved on 2011-10-01.
  23. ^ "Queen Latifah is the Newest Face of Jenny Craig", ETonline.com, January 10, 2008
  24. ^ Covergirl. Covergirl. Retrieved on 2011-10-01.
  25. ^ "The Robertson Treatment Vol. 6.7; Queen Latifah holding court in Hollywood!", Baltimore Afro-American, March 28, 2003. She is 6 foot 1, about 200 pounds. Accessed December 11, 2007. "'I've always loved musicals,' admits the actress who was born Dana Owens and was raised in the East Orange, NJ area and who presently lives in Rumson, NJ."
  26. ^ "Queen Latifa arrested in California for carrying loaded pistol and the possession of marijuana". Jet. February 19, 1996. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1355/is_n14_v89/ai_18004767. Retrieved July 8, 2008. 
  27. ^ Suzanne Rozdeba; Ben Widdicombe (June 22, 2003). "To 'C' the Queen". New York Daily News. http://www.nydailynews.com/front/story/94618p-85741c.html. Retrieved February 16, 2007. 
  28. ^ Billboard Bits: Queen Latifah Photos Reignite Gay Rumors. Billboard.com (2009-09-14). Retrieved on 2011-10-01.
  29. ^ Gay Marriage For Latifah? / Queerty. Queerty.com. Retrieved on 2011-10-01.
  30. ^ Queen Latifah Buys Home With Trainer. Advocate.com. Retrieved on 2011-10-01.

External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Queen Latifah — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Queen Latifah Cantante y actriz estadounidense Información personal Nombre real …   Wikipedia Español

  • Queen Latifah — Données clés Nom de naissance Dana Elaine Owens Naissance …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Queen Latifah — auf dem Toronto International Film Festival (2008) Queen Latifah (* 18. März 1970 in Newark, New Jersey, als Dana Elaine Owens) ist eine US amerikanische Hip Hop Musikerin und Schauspielerin …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Queen Latifah — ▪ 2004       During 2003 American performer Queen Latifah, already a star of the music industry as one of the first female rappers, proved that she was big screen royalty as well. In February she received her first Academy Award nomination (best… …   Universalium

  • Queen Latifah — (born 1970 as Dana Owens) American rap musician and actress …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Queen Latifah discography — These are the discography and certification of American rapper and jazz/blues singer Dana Owens, better known by her stage name Queen Latifah. Throughout her career she has released a total of six studio albums, four Hip Hop/R B influenced and… …   Wikipedia

  • The Queen Latifah Show — Infobox Television show name = The Queen Latifah Show caption = genre = Talk show director = Andy Barsh presenter = Queen Latifah theme music composer = Norman Arnold country = USA language = English num seasons = 2 num episodes = list episodes …   Wikipedia

  • Paper (Queen Latifah song) — Paper is the second single from Queen Latifah s 1998 album, Order In The Court. it is on of many Queen Latifah songs that is all singing and no rap. The song was produced by Pras of The Fugees Single infobox Name = Paper Artist = Queen Latifah… …   Wikipedia

  • It's Alright (Queen Latifah song) — It s Alright is a single from Queen Latifah s 1998 album, Order In The Court. The single was released in 1998. It features no Rap from Queen Latifah. She sings on this song. Single infobox Name = It s Alright Artist = Queen Latifah from Album =… …   Wikipedia

  • Weekend Love (Queen Latifah song) — Weekend Love was a single from Queen Latifah s 1993 album, Black Reign . The song features reggae singer, Tony Rebel. Queen Latifah does not rap in the song. Instead shows off her singing skills in the song. The song was never officially released …   Wikipedia

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