The best Queen Latifah quotes reveal a woman at ease with herself, her beauty and the course of her career.
Queen Latifah, born Dana Owens on March 18, 1970, took on the nickname “Latifah” when she was 8 years old. A cousin suggested the name because it means gentle and kind in Arabic.
“Queen” didn’t come into play till later, as Latifah was on her way to the top of the music scene.
A Music Queen
The New Jersey native was destined to be a musician. “There was always music in the house,” she told the Iowa City Press-Citizen in 2007. “Singing was part of our normal upbringing.”
As a teen she started Ladies Fresh, a female rhyming group. She was singled out by a friend who passed her demo around to radio stations.
“My first single came out when I was 17,” Latifah told “CBS News” in September 2007, “And I signed my contract and my album (“All Hail the Queen”) came out when I was 18.”
That’s officially when the Queen was born. In 1994, she won a Grammy for Best Rap Solo Performance and became rap music’s top female artist.
The Acting Bug
“In the beginning, I just wanted to hear my record on the radio, then I just wanted to make a movie,” Latifah confided to Essence in 2009. “I didn’t have a long-term plan. As more opportunities came my way, I just ran with them.”
After a role in Spike Lee’s “Jungle Fever” (1991), Latifah went on to star in her own sitcom, “Living Single.” After the sitcom’s run ended in 1998, Latifah went on to host her own show for two years.
A Cover Girl
Queen Latifah signed on to be a spokeswoman for CoverGirl cosmetics in 2001.
“The new Queen Collection was inspired by me,” she said. “To celebrate the beauty of women of color, it gives women the confidence they are looking for by accenting and highlighting our natural features.”
Latifah combined her love of acting with her singing chops as sexy Mama Morton in the feature film version of “Chicago” (2004). “There are different flavors of sexiness,” she told the BBC at the time. “Whatever your thing is, you got at least one to choose from in this movie. To me, all women are beautiful. Every woman is a queen. We all have different things to offer.”
Latifah won critical acclaim for her role as a sexy warden.
Despite the fame, family keeps her grounded. “My mom will make me take out the trash when I go home,” she tells the BBC. “I’m not allowed to get a big head. I’ve still got to do the simple things in life.”
Queen Latifah – the Brand
“Me and Queen Latifah used to be the same person,” the Jersey native told CBS in 2007. “Then somewhere along the line, she got much bigger than me. She became a corporation, a company and a brand.”
In 2008 she signed on to be a Jenny Craig spokeswoman. “My intention was to lose five to 10 percent of my body weight because it makes a difference with health related issues.” she told People at the time.
In regard to the many hats she wears, Latifah told CBS, “I like to consider myself a renaissance woman … I don’t know about the queen of everything, but I’ve enjoyed having a chance to explore different avenues.”