Dana Elaine Owens
Queen Latifah, Hip-Hop’s First Lady, Queen of Jazz-Rap
Newark, New Jersey, USA
Owns multiple properties in New Jersey and California, but primarily lives in and around Los Angeles.
Queen Latifah studied in Irvington Public High School where her mother was also a teacher.
She enrolled in a two-year course at Borough of Manhattan Community College.
Singer, Songwriter, Rapper, Model, Actress, Talk show host, Producer
- Father – Lancelot Owens (Police Officer)
- Mother – Rita Bray (Teacher)
- Siblings – Lancelot Owens Jr. (Older Brother) (Police Officer, Expired in 1992 in a motorcycle accident)
She is signed with these agencies –
- Creative Artists Agency (CAA), Los Angeles
- Principato-Young Entertainment, New York
- Eisenberg Tanchum & Levy Law Practice
- Rhythm & Blues
- Tommy Boy
- Warner Bros
- Walt Disney Records
5 ft 10 in or 178 cm
91 kg or 201 lbs
Boyfriend / Spouse
Queen has dated –
- Debbie Allen (Early 90s) – There was a RUMOR that Latifah might have had a brief encounter with the senior actress. However, Debbie has been happily married to former NBA player, Norm Nixon since 1984 and no evidence is available to confirm the truth in this hearsay.
- Sean Moon (1995) – Queen Latifah faced a car-jacking in the neighborhood of NYC in 1995. Her then boyfriend/bodyguard was shot in the stomach by a couple of teenagers on the lookout to steal a car at 2:45 am while Latifah awaited a group of friends with Sean Moon and another friend sitting inside her green BMW. As soon as the teens sped away leaving Latifah stranded with her bleeding boyfriend and friend, she got hold of the cab and managed to reach the nearest hospital in Harlem saving Sean’s life. The suspects were eventually caught and convicted for theft and attempt to murder.
- Martin Kendu Isaacs (1992–2001) – Kendu being a famous music producer and Latifah being a singer on top of her game throughout the 1990s hung around the same social circle. The two were rumored to be dating on and off during the same time period but broke up in 2001. However, their camaraderie was not affected. In fact, Queen Latifah introduced Kendu to his long-term wife-to-be, Mary J. Blige to whom he was married from 2003 to 2016.
- Jeanette Jenkins (2002–2011) – The famous Hollywood trainer and Latifah were inseparable in a serious relationship for many years. They even purchased a house together in Beverly Hills, California which Latifah sold soon after their break-up. Though over the years, the paparazzi took several pictures of them sharing an intimate moment, both women continued to evade any acknowledgment of their mutual involvement. Jeanette went as far as to claim that she is not even gay after her break-up with Latifah and went back to dating men. Speculations were there that Jenkins and Latifah were planning a lavish same-sex marriage ceremony, but Jeanette often questioned Latifah’s fidelity which led to frequent fights and ensuing tension.
- Eboni Nichols (2011–2015) – Latifah first met dancer-choreographer, Eboni on the sets of Dancing with the Stars in 2009 where Eboni put together a routine for Latifah’s guest appearance on the show. Their friendship was also supposedly a major cause of conflict between Jeannette and Latifah. Once Latifah started dating Eboni, their mutual chemistry clearly implied to the rest of the world that they were a lot closer than just friends. But, even this relationship wasn’t meant to last long and the ladies called it quits in 2015.
- Paula Patton (2016) – A gossip site claimed on social media that long-time friends Paula and Latifah were the new lesbian power couple. The claim went viral on Twitter and soon Paula and Latifah became a trending topic on Twitter in March 2016. Representatives of the two ladies were quick to dismiss these RUMORs and clarified that the two women merely produced a movie together which was the only reason behind their united public appearances.
Race / Ethnicity
She has African-American ancestry.
The paparazzi have captured her dating both men and women but Latifah refuses to give any official statement in acceptance or denial of facts related to her love life.
- Large, intimidating physical presence
- Prominent Cheekbones
45-40-45 in or 115-102-114 cm
16 (US) or 20 (UK) or 48 (EU)
10 (US) or 7.5 (UK) or 40.5 (EU)
- Queen Latifah did TV commercials for the following brands:
- US Milk Commission (Voice) (1996)
- Freedom Card – Gold Mastercard (2000)
- Cover Girl Make-up (2001)
- Cover Girl Smoothers Make-up (2002)
- Pizza-Hut (Voice) (2003)
- Mariott Courtyard Hotels (2003)
- Walmart (2005)
- Jenny Craig (2008)
- Macy’s ‘Believe’ Campaign (2009)
- Cover Girl’s ‘Clean’ Make-up (2010)
- Pantene Pro-V (2014)
- And shot print ads for the following:
- Reebok Classic Athletic Shoes (2000)
- Curvation lingerie (2003)
As a brand ambassador for Cover Girl, Latifah has endorsed their products through multiple channel marketing campaigns (both print & TV) from 2001 to 2011.
Christianity (Baptist Church)
Best Known For
- Her debut album, All Hail the Queen (1989) which had the feminist hit single, Ladies First.
- Her third album Black Reign (1993) not only won the Grammy Award but, was the first ever by a female MC to go gold by selling 500,000 units.
- Was the lead in 5 seasons of the popular African American 90s sitcom Living Single (1993–1998) aired on Fox.
- Won critical acclaim and Academy Award nomination for her supporting role in Chicago (2002).
- Hosted and produced her own talk show, The Queen Latifah Show (1999-2001) and (2013-2015).
She released her first album All Hail the Queen (1989) by Tommy Boy Records.
The minor role of a waitress in Jungle Fever in 1991 starring Wesley Snipes.
Her first main role was alongside Jada Pinkett Smith in Set It Off (1996), a crime action film with an all-female lead.
First TV Show
In 1991, Latifah appeared in 2 episodes as Dee Dee / Marissa Redman in NBC sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
- Queen Latifah always had a large frame. At the age of 18, she made a pact to love her natural self, no matter what. Not obsessing about fitting into a typical Hollywood body type helped her concentrate on her work as an artist and earn plenty of fame and commercial success.
- Over the years, she learned many aspects of exercise and nutrition researching them for her talk show. It also helped to be close to one of Hollywood’s most successful celebrity trainer whom she often promoted on her show.
- Despite access to extensive resources, Latifah keeps it simple because her priority is not to get slim but to stay healthy.
- She follows no particular exercise plan and tries to engage in an outdoor activity if she can help it. Her preferences include swimming, hiking, yoga, a 45-minute walk on the treadmill or a SoulCycle spin class. Latifah also enjoys playing Ping-Pong for fun.
- In terms of food, dieting has never been her thing. She eats a lot of vegetables and lean meats and drinks a lot of water throughout the day. However, she does regret not having the basic knowledge of what a balanced diet is supposed to be throughout her teens and 20s.
- An ideal home cooked meal comprises of sautéed garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms, peppers, and butternut squash cooked in olive oil and balsamic vinegar accompanied with eggs, fish, pasta, or couscous.
- Other than that, Latifah is very particular about getting 8 hours of sound sleep and not carrying any negative emotion or resentment for a prolonged period of time.
Queen Latifah Favorite Things
- Cuisine – Italian
- Food – Macaroni and Cheese, Funnel Cake, Zeppole, Steak, Pasta, Jimmy Buff’s Italian hot dog
- Stylist – Timothy Snell
- Movies – Boomerang (1992), Forrest Gump (1994)
- Color – Purple
- City – New York
- Genre (Books) – Science Fiction
- Preferred Magazine Type – Interior Design
- Casino Game – Roulette
- Gospel Group – Clark Sisters
- Health Food – Eggs
- Music Influences – Rock and Reggae
- Electronic Band – Zero 7 (their favorite album – When it Falls, 2004)
- Hip-Hop Inspiration – Common (Album – Finding Forever, 2007)
- Female Artist – Beyoncé ( Album – I am….Sasha Fierce, 2008)
- Jazz Group – The Horace Silver Quintet (Album – Finger Poppin’, 1959)
- Movie Role (Among her own) – Cleopatra Sims in Set It Off (1996)
- Supplement – Magnesium
- Cartoons – Tom & Jerry, Bugs Bunny, Yu-gi-oh
Queen Latifah Facts
- Being one of the taller students in the class, she was also on her school basketball team.
- Her first job was to work at Burger King which she did while working at Manhattan Community College.
- At the age of 18, Latifah began beat-boxing and rapping for local hip hop groups in the Bronx, New York City.
- She was one of the first few members of the Flavor Unit, a group of rap artists and MCs led by a DJ called The 45 King.
- She came across the name Latifah at the age of 8 when her cousin brought home a book of Arabic names in which Latifah meant kind and delicate. She did not want to be known as MC Latifah when she started gaining fame in the hip-hop music scene so added the prefix, Queen, because her mother always told her that every woman needs to be treated like one.
- She is very close to her mother Rita who was a single mom and often worked 3 jobs to bring up her kids.
- Latifah’s parents got divorced when she was 10.
- Latifah was enrolled in the same school where her mother worked as a teacher.
- She wanted to be an actress since the 9th grade but before that, she thought of being a marine biologist and a truck driver.
- She is very religious and does not travel without her Bible.
- Latifah befriended fellow rapper MC Lyte in high school.
- She signed her first contract at the age of 17 and the first expensive gift she bought herself with the money was a gold tooth which was lost within a week.
- She has three butterfly tattoos on her body.
- Latifah owns several motorcycles and Vespas. She even gifted a bike to her brother. Riding it off-duty he met with a fatal accident. Latifah wore the key to that bike around her neck for many years in mourning and in remembrance of her brother.
- Her brother’s death followed by a car-jacking incident after a couple of years steered Latifah towards alcohol and drug abuse for a few years until she sought help through therapy.
- Her actual mother, Rita played her on-screen mother in the hit sitcom, Living Single.
- Latifah purchased the 1962 Chevy Impala used on the sets of her first movie in lead role, Set it Off (1996).
- She received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in January 2006.
- She co-wrote a book on self-esteem for young adult women called Put on Your Crown published in 2010.
- She met her manager, Shakim Compere in High school. The two of them studied together in 10th grade.
- Along with her manager, they found a production company called, Flavor Unit Entertainment that also managed the careers of Outcast, LL Cool J, Naughty by Nature and several other artists.
- It was Shakim’s idea for Latifah to host a talk show.
- Latifah has never taken acting classes. She landed her first role as a waitress because of the director of Jungle Fever, Spike Lee who wanted a female rapper to play that role.
- She has several awards and nominations to her credit, both as an actor and a producer which includes winning a Grammy, an Emmy, and a Golden Globe along with an Academy Award nomination.
- During the 2021 BET Awards, Queen Latifah was honored with the “Lifetime Achievement Award”.