This Day In History: March 18th
Considered to be one of the first ladies of rap, Queen Latifah, has been a pioneer in the music and entertainment industry for more than three decades. Since the release of her first album in 1989, she has earned a variety of titles ranging from rapper and songwriter to talk show host and actress.
Here are five things to know about Queen Latifah!
- The Origin Of Her Rap Name. Although she’s commonly known by the moniker, Queen Latifah, she was born Dana Elaine Owens on March 18, 1970, in Newark, New Jersey. She grew up with a mother who encouraged her to believe that all women were queens and should be treated as queens. This played a role in the formation of her stage name. Additionally, she took an interest in the name Latifah (kind or pleasant) because of its meaning in Arabic. She decided to merge the two names and became Queen Latifah.
- Setting The Tone: All Hail The Queen. Queen Latifah signed her first recording deal as a teenager with Tommy Boy Records. She released her debut album All Hail The Queen in 1989 which included hit singles “Wrath Of My Madness” and feminist anthem, “Ladies First.” The album sold more than one million copies and she has since recorded more than 5 studio albums.
- Transition To The Big Screen. During the 1990s, Queen Latifah decided to expand her talents and pursue acting. She made her debut as an actress in Spike Lee’s 1991 film, Jungle Fever. By 1993, Queen Latifah had secured a role starring in the sitcom Living Single. She has also added appearances in popular productions including Set It Off, Chicago, Beauty Shop, and The Secret Life Of Bees to her list of acting credits.
- Star Status. With many accolades to her name, Queen Latifah was formally recognized by receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in January of 2006. In addition to her star on the Walk of Fame, she is also the recipient of a Grammy, Emmy, Golden Globe Award, People’s Choice Award, BET Award, and four NAACP Image Awards.
- The Entrepreneurial Mindset. Queen Latifah’s success is not limited to music and movies. She has also found success as an entrepreneur with production and beauty ventures. The mogul partnered with CoverGirl cosmetics and served as a spokesperson. The deal was taken a step further when she was given her own line with the brand, The Queen Collection. Her other business ventures include operating Flavor Unit Entertainment, a production company that she established in 1990 with Shakim Compere. Flavor Unit Entertainment is behind movies such as Bringing Down the House, Just Wright, The Rap Game and more.
Queen Latifah used her talents to create her own lanes in the industry and empower generations of women!