Queen Latifah Mourns Loss Of Her Mother

Queen Latifah just suffered a huge loss.

The rapper and actress revealed that her mother, Rita Owens, passed away on Wednesday, March 21, 2018. Latifah shared the sad news in a statement obtained by People magazine.

"It is with a heavy heart that I share the news my mother, Rita Owens passed away today," Latifah said. "Anyone that has ever met her knows what a bright light she was on this earth. She was gentle, but strong, sweet, but sassy, [worldly] but pragmatic, a woman of great faith and certainly the love of my life."

Noting that her mother had suffered from a heart condition for years, Latifah stated, "... her battle is now over." She continued, "I am heartbroken but know she is at peace. Thank you for your kindness, support and respect for our privacy at this time. Much Love, Dana Owens (aka Queen Latif‎ah), forever Rita Owens' daughter."

The same day that Latifah announced her mother's passing, she shared a video of a collage of her mom. In the caption, she wrote, "143," meaning, "I love you."

A post shared by Queen Latifah (@queenlatifah) on

Before her mother's passing, Latifah had thanked her fans for their support. "Words can't to the express on the gratitude that I feel for the love and well wishes from friends family and all of you out there who just got love for the Queen!" she wrote in the caption of an Instagram post. "But just know in the words of my brother Tupac, You are appreciated! Also please continue to send prayers up to my moms speedy recovery! GOD CAN!!!"

As detailed in a September 2015 interview with People, Owens was diagnosed with heart failure after fainting while teaching art in a New Jersey school. To live with the condition, Owens had to have a defibrillator implanted in her chest, to adopt a diet low in salt and fats, and to take medications regularly. Due to a lung condition, she also needed to receive oxygen.

In an effort to help her mom live comfortably, Latifah chose to live with her mother in her New Jersey home when not in California, with family members and a nurse helping out when she couldn't.

Latifah later expressed to People just how much her mother meant to her in September 2017. "I watched her come through so many things, ups and downs, hospitalizations — I mean really being in the ICU for that matter — you know, going through tough times and watching her come back and bounce back and still maintain this sense of humor, and love and drive and will," Latifah shared. "I just love her so much more, I respect her so much more. She really just gives me hope for life and the world."

Months earlier in a Mother's Day video promoting the American Heart Association, Latifah said, "I can't imagine my life without my mom." She continued, "My mom is the strongest person I know, and she's committed to rising above heart failure."


Our thoughts are with Latifah and her family during this difficult time.