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Who is Queen Latifah?

by Ratan Srivastava
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Queen Latifah

Queen Latifah is indeed a professional name for Dana Elaine Owens, an American singer-songwriter, rapper, actor, but also a producer. She was born in Newark, New Jersey, and signed with Tommy Boy Records in 1989. On November 28, 1989, she released her debut album All Hail the Queen, which included the smash track “Ladies First.” Her second and final album with Tommy Boy Records was Nature of a Sista’ (1991).

From 1993 through 1998, Latifah played Khadijah James inside the FOX comedy Living Single. The track “U.N.I.T.Y.” from her third album, Black Reign (1993), was crucial in promoting awareness of women’s rights and perspectives in communities throughout the world. The song was nominated for a Grammy Award and reached number 23 on the Billboard Hot 100. She went on to star in Set It Off (1996) and Motown Records published her fourth album, Order in the Court, on June 16, 1998.

Latifah received critical praise for her performance as Matron “Mama” Morton in the musical film Chicago (2002), for which she received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

In 2004, Queen Latifah released her fifth studio album, The Dana Owens Album. She released two additional studio albums, Trav’lin’ Light and Persona, in 2007 and 2009. She hosted The Queen Latifah Show, a daytime chat show that aired on CBS from late 2013 to early 2015. She has voice work in the Ice Age film series and has appeared in a number of films, including Bringing Down the House (2003), Taxi (2004), Barbershop 2: Back in Business (2005), Beauty Shop (2005), Last Holiday (2006), Hairspray (2007), Joyful Noise (2012), 22 Jump Street (2014), and Girls Trip (2017).

Latifah won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Television Movie for her depiction of blues artist Bessie Smith inside the HBO movie Bessie (2015), which she also co-produced. She played Carlotta Brown within the musical drama series Star from 2016 to 2019. She played Hattie McDaniel in the miniseries Hollywood in 2020.

She is referred to that as a “feminist” rapper. In 2006, Latifah was the first hip hop artist to be honoured with a star upon that Hollywood Walk of Fame. Latifah has won a Grammy Award, an Emmy Award, a Golden Globe Award, three Screen Actors Guild Awards, two NAACP Image Awards, an Academy Award nomination, and has sold over two million albums for her work in music, cinema, and television.

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