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Queen Latifah

Blessed with style and substance, Queen Latifah has blossomed into a one-woman entertainment conglomerate. She is a musician, television and film actress, a label president, author and entrepreneur. Heralded by the press and the industry as a force to be reckoned with, Latifah has quite simply done it all and shows no sign of slowing down.

Latifah has had amazing success in Hollywood in recent years, and became the first hip hop artist to be crowned with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on January 4th, 2006. She received rave reviews, an OscarĀ nomination for Best Supporting Actress, a Golden Globe nomination and a SAG Award nomination for her portrayal as Mama Morton in Miramax's Chicago, which was executive produced by Hairspray producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. Following Chicago, Latifah starred in and executive produced Disney's box office hit, Bringing Down the House, which was directed by Hairspray director Adam Shankman.

Most recently, Latifah wowed critics in the HBO film Life Support, in which she was both the star and executive producer. In the true-life drama, she plays a mother who overcomes an addiction to crack to become a positive role model and AIDS activist in the black community.

Latifah's recent successes include Wayne Wang's The Last Holiday, in which she starred opposite LL Cool J, and Marc Forster's Stranger Than Fiction, playing opposite Emma Thompson and Dustin Hoffman. She also lent her voice to Ice Age 2, playing the part of the Wooly Mammoth and starred in and produced MGM's Beauty Shop (a spin-off of the hit Barbershop). She is currently filming Mad Money opposite Diane Keaton and Katie Holmes.

To most people releasing multiple movies would be enough, but Queen Latifah wasn't satisfied. In 2004, Latifah once again returned to the music scene with a brand new album, demonstrating her singing talent. She teamed up with Grammy Award-winning producer Arif Mardin as well as Ron Fair to release her first vocal album, Queen Latifah -- The Dana Owens Album which earned her a Grammy nomination. The platinum-selling album was a collection of timeless classics chosen and covered by the Queen herself. As Latifah demonstrated both in Living Out Loud (1998) and her OscarĀ-nominated performance in Chicago (2002), her vocal talent is as impressive as her acting.

Queen Latifah is also one of music's most well respected rappers. From her ground breaking 1989 debut All Hail the Queen, which set the visual and contextual standard for female rappers, to her bold foray into R&B, Latifah continues to define what a woman in the music industry should be. She has earned four Grammy nominations as well as a Grammy Award for Best Solo Rap Performance in 1994. Latifah toured the U.S. as part of The Sugar Water Festival with fellow soul sisters, Erykah Badu and Jill Scott.

And then there's Flavor Unit Entertainment, a production company owned and operated by Queen Latifah and her partner, Shakim Compere. The company, based in New Jersey, is quickly establishing itself as one of the most important production companies in the film industry. They began by executive producing the box office hit Bringing Down the House and then continued with Beauty Shop for MGM. They have also produced The Cookout with Lion's Gate.

Latifah is also not a stranger to the small screen. Her first television series, Living Single, was a huge success and is currently in syndication. From the small screen, Latifah made a leap to film and her acting skills have earned her the status of leading lady.

Since her screen debut in Spike Lee's 1991 film Jungle Fever, her film career has taken off. She starred in Set it Off, which earned her a nomination for a Spirit Award in the Best Actress category and co-starred with Holly Hunter and Danny DeVito in the critically acclaimed Living Out Loud. In 1999, she was seen in Universal's The Bone Collector directed by Philip Noyce and starring Denzel Washington. In 2002, she co-starred with Taye Diggs and Sanaa Latham in Fox Searchlight's Brown Sugar.

Queen Latifah is diligent in her pursuit of excellence, as is evident by the awards she has received for her work in film and music. Her sincere concern for others is revealed by the generous amount of time and money that she donates to worthwhile charitable organizations. Every year, Queen Latifah serves as co-chairman for the Lancelot H. Owens Scholarship Foundation, Inc. Established by her mother, Rita Owens, to perpetuate the memory of a loving son and brother, the foundation provides scholarships to students who excel scholastically, but are limited in financial resources.


Note: This profile was written in or before 2007.
Read earlier biographies on this page.

Queen Latifah Facts

Birth NameDana Elaine Owens
OccupationMusician, Actress
BirthdayMarch 18, 1970 (47)
SignPisces
BirthplaceNewark, New Jersey, USA
Height5' 10" (1m78)  How tall is Queen Latifah compared to you?
Awards2008 Golden Globe Awards: Best Actress in a Mini-Series or TV Movie (for Life Support)
2008 Screen Actors Guild Awards: Best Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries (for Life Support)

Selected Filmography

Just Wright: In Character with Queen Latifah
The Last Holiday
Beauty Shop
Bringing Down The House
Steel Magnolias
Taxi
Just Wright
Bessie
Set It Off
Mad Money
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