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Queen Latifah


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Dana Elaine Owens (born March 18, 1970, in Newark, New Jersey), better known as Queen Latifah, is an American Grammy Award-winning rap artist and actress.

Owens' mother and father (a police officer), divorced when she was eight years old. Latifah's first big success was singing the number "Home" from The Wiz in a school performance of the musical.

She started her career beatboxing for rap group Ladies Fresh. Local DJ Mark the 45 King heard a demo version of Latifah's single "Princess of the Posse" in 1988, gave the demo to Fab Five Freddy, who was then host of Yo! MTV Raps, and Fab 5 Freddy helped Latifah get signed to Tommy Boy Records, which released Latifah's first album, All Hail the Queen (1989), when she was 18. This debut was critically acclaimed as one of the best hip hop albums of all time and was followed by Nature of a Sista, another well-reviewed album. From 1993 to 1998 Latifah starred on Living Single, a FOX sitcom; she also wrote and performed its theme music.

Her older brother Lance was killed in 1992 in an accident on a bike that Latifah had just bought him. She still wears the key to the bike around her neck. Latifah released an album dedicated to him, Black Reign, which was a hit partly because of a hit single, U.N.I.T.Y. In 1995, she was the victim of a carjacking, in which a friend of hers was shot. In 1996 she was arrested in possession of a small amount of marijuana and a gun; she was fined and sentenced to two years probation.

In 1998, she made an album entitled Order in the Court. In 2003, she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance as Matron "Mama" Morton in the movie musical Chicago. In 2003, she co-starred with Steve Martin in the marginally well received comedy Bringing Down the House, as a woman who is "mismatched" through a legal advice chat room with Martin's character. Other recent movies Latifah has appeared in are Scary Movie 3, Barbershop 2: Back in Business, Taxi, and Beauty Shop.

She stands 5'9". Her stage name Latifah, meaning "delicate" and "sensitive" in Arabic, was given to her when she was eight by her cousin.

Info: Wikipedia.org

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