Over the course of her illustrious career, Queen Latifah has shown that she can do just about everything, and today, she celebrates her birthday!
Born Dana Owens in Newark, her cousin gave her the name Latifah, based on an Arabic word that roughly translates to “sensitive and delicate.”
She began rapping and beat boxing in high school with her group Ladies Fresh. The group rapped about women’s rights and social injustice, and she soon signed with Tommy Boy Music in 1988.
In 1989, under the name Queen Latifah, she released her first album, “All Hail The Queen,” which received critical acclaim and established her as a rapper. After the release of the record, Latifah started her own management company, Flavor Unit Entertainment.
Following the release of her second album, Latifah lost her brother in a motorcycle wreck. She was devastated and began work on her most successful LP, “Black Reign,” which debuted in 1993 on Motown Records. The album was a tribute to her brother and eventually went gold. Latifah also secured a Grammy for Best Rap Solo Performance in 1994 with the track “U.N.I.T.Y.”
After “Black Reign,” Queen Latifah began working heavily on her acting, beginning with a starring role on five seasons of “Living Single.” From there, she began to transition into film roles in movies like “Chicago,” “Bringing Down the House” and “Beauty Shop,” along with a voice starring role in the “Ice Age” sequels.
Since then she has continued to balance her passions for music and acting, releasing several more studio albums and even breaking into producing with the VH1 original series “Single Ladies.
Last fall, she launched her daytime talk show, “The Queen Latifah Show,” which has already received a second season order.
Best birthday wishes to an all-around performer with so many talents we can’t even count them all! Happy birthday, Queen Latifah!