“Dreams become reality when we put our minds to it.” Queen Latifah is an award-winning rapper, a famous actress, and a prominent record producer. Known as much for her electric personality as her skills in the entertainment world, Queen Latifah has managed to cement herself as a seminal member of the pop culture landscape.
Queen Latifah is most well-known for her work in films like Beauty Shop and Girls Trip as an actress. Queen Latifah has also sold millions of records as a rapper, winning a Grammy Award for her third album, Black Reign. Despite still being in the prime of her career, Queen Latifah has already won a Grammy Award, an Academy Award nomination, an Emmy Award, and a Golden Globe Award. Queen Latifah is also considered one of the pioneers of hip hop’s feminist movement.
Becoming a Medial Mogul
Dana Elaine Owens was born on March 18, 1970, in Newark, NJ. Owens, now known as Queen Latifah, was raised by her mother, Rita Lamae, and her father, Lancelot Amos Owens. Lancelot worked as a police officer while Latifah was a child and her mother worked as a teacher at nearby Irvington High School.
As a child, Latifah was raised in a Baptist household where religion was placed on a pedestal. Latifah would attend Essex Catholic Girls’ High School in Irvington, but she would transfer and graduate from Irvington High School where her mother had worked. Latifah would earn her nickname as a child after a Muslim cousin gave it to her. The Arabic meaning for Latifah is ‘delicate and sensitive’.
Latifah began signing as a member of the Shiloh Baptist Church Choir in Bloomfield, NJ. She would make her first public performance as a member of The Wizard of Oz production at St Anne’s Parochial School. Latifah would chase her passion for music into high school where she began rapping in locker rooms and bathrooms around campus. By the time that Latifah was a junior, she would be performing with her own rap group called Ladies Fresh. Latifah’s mother was an early supporter of her work as she helped her daughter land gigs and purchase recording equipment. Eventually, Latifah’s group rebranded as ‘Flavor Unit’. Latifah would go on to release seven studio albums between 1989 and 2009, winning numerous awards for her efforts. Along the way, Latifah would establish herself at the forefront of the feminist movement that has since taken over hip hop.
Outside of music, Latifah has managed to establish herself as a dynamic performing artist on stage, on television, and in film. Latifah began acting in the early 90s after finding some success with her music. She began by appearing in films like Jungle Fever and House Party 2. Throughout the 90s, Latifah would establish herself as a charismatic performer who could chop it up with anyone in the industry. Notable roles during the 90s include Sphere and The Bone Collector.
In 2002, Latifah would experience her first taste of serious mainstream acting success. Latifah would be cast in the musical film, Chicago (2002) alongside Richard Gere, Renee Zellweger, and Catherine Zeta-Jones. In the film, Latifah portrayed Mama Morton, the prison matron. Latifah would earn an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress, losing to her co-star, Catherine Zeta-Jones.
While Latifah has experienced profound success as a dramatic actress, she is more celebrated for her comedic work. Thanks to her trademark smile and endless enthusiasm, Latifah has stolen the show in a number of big comedies throughout the years. Notable productions include Barbershop 2: Back in Business (2004), Beauty Shop (2005), Hairspray (2007), and the entire Ice Age animated franchise. Latifah has portrayed Ellie in four Ice Age films thus far.
Outside of the box office, Latifah would also find mainstream success as a daytime talk show host from 1999 to 2001 on The Queen Latifah Show. The program would enjoy commercial success before being temporary canceled in 2001. Latifah would return to the program from 2013 to 2015 before hanging up her hosting mic for good. Most recently, Latifah has appeared as a starring member of the show, Star (2019). Latifah is also slated to anchor The Little Mermaid Live as the character Ursula.
Vehicles for the Rich and Famous
When you are one of the most famous women in the world, you are allowed to treat yourself to a nice ride every once in a while. Queen Latifah made tabloid headlines in 2016 when she was seen cruising around town in her brand new Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe. The vehicle had an estimated MSRP of $370k at the time, making it a vehicle well worth showing off. The Phantom Drophead Coupe by Rolls-Royce first hit the market in 2007. Since then, the vehicle has become one of the most favored luxury models by local celebrities throughout Hollywood.
Before Queen Latifah had gotten her hands on her Rolls-Royce Drophead Coupe, she had been happy to drive around town in her 2015 Mercedes-Benz S63. Unfortunately for Queen Latifah, criminals also had their eyes on her luxurious vehicle. While stopping for gas in Atlanta, Georgia, her car would be tragically stolen by a team of car thieves that had been plaguing the area. Latifah had parked at a Shell Station on December 20th, 2016, when a white BMW pulled up next to Latifah while she had been pumping gas. Latifah then heard her car start behind her before speeding off, leaving Latifah alone and very much in a state of distress. Latifah’s car would eventually be found in South West Atlanta after it was reported as stolen. The vehicle was recovered and the only things that police found within it were bottles of lemonade. We would make a Beyonce joke here, but we’ll leave that to you.