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KOKOnista Of The Day: Queen Latifah Is The Original Queen Of Hip Hop

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Dana Elaine Owens, known professionally as Queen Latifah, is an American singer, songwriter, rapper, actress, producer and the original Queen of Hip Hop.

Queen Latifah

Dana Elaine Owens was born in Newark, New Jersey, she lived primarily in East Orange, New Jersey. She is the daughter of Rita Lamae, a teacher at Irvington High School (Latifah’s alma mater), and Lancelot Amos Owens, a police officer. Owens attended Essex Catholic Girls’ High School in Irvington, but graduated from Irvington High School.
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Her parents divorced when Latifah was ten. Latifah was raised in the Baptist faith and attended Catholic school in Newark, New Jersey. She found her stage name, Latifah (لطيفة laţīfa), meaning “delicate” and “very kind” in Arabic, in a book of Arabic names when she was eight. Always tall, the 5-foot-10-inch (1.78 m) Latifah was a power forward on her high school basketball team. She performed the number “Home” from the musical The Wiz in a grammar school play. After high school, Queen Latifah attended classes at Borough of Manhattan Community College.

She signed with Tommy Boy Records in 1989 and released her debut album All Hail the Queen on November 28, 1989, featuring the hit single “Ladies First”. Nature of a Sista’ (1991) was her second and final album with Tommy Boy Records.

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Photo Credit: Getty

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