Legal name: Dana Elaine Owens
Dana Elaine Owens (born March 18, 1970), professionally known by her stage name Queen Latifah, is an American singer, songwriter, rapper, actress, model, television producer, record producer, comedienne, and talk show host. Born in Newark, New Jersey, she signed with Tommy Boy Records in 1989. In November 1989, she had released her debut album All Hail the Queen (1989), featuring the hit single "Ladies First" with Monie Love. Latifah released her second album Nature of a Sista (1991), which was her final album with Tommy Boy Records.
In 1993, Latifah starred as Khadijah James on the FOX sitcom Living Single, from 1993 to 1998. Her third album Black Reign (1993), which went gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and peaked at number 60 on the Billboard 200 chart. The album also includes the hit single "U.N.I.T.Y." which won a Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance in 1994 and hit the Billboard Hot 100. Latifah starred in the lead role of Set It Off (1996) as Cleopatra "Cleo" Sims, alongside Jada Pinkett-Smith. Between 1996 and 2000, controversy between Latifah and Foxy Brown received widespread media attention. She released her fourth album in 1998 Order in the Court (1998) with Motown Records. Queen Latifah gained mainstream success after appearing in Chicago (2002) as Matron "Mama" Morton and she received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress, losing to Catherine Zeta-Jones.
Latifah released her fifth album The Dana Owens Album (2004), which peaked number 16 on the Billboard 200 chart. She had appeared in a number of films after Chicago such as, Bringing Down the House (2003), Taxi (2004), Barbershop 2: Back in Business (2005), Beauty Shop (2005), Last Holiday (2006), and Hairspray (2007). In 2007 to 2009, she released two more studio albums, Trav'lin' Light (2007), which received a Grammy nomination for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album, and Persona (2009). In 2012, Latifah co-starred in Joyful Noise (2012) as Vi Rose Hill, with Dolly Parton and Keke Palmer. Queen Latifah created The Queen Latifah Show which ran from late 2013 to early 2015. Latifah played blues singer Bessie Smith in the HBO documentary Bessie (2015).
She has long been considered one of hip-hop's pioneer feminists. Queen Latifah has received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2006. Her work in music, film, and television has earned her a Golden Globe award, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, two NAACP Image Awards, a Grammy Award, six additional Grammy nominations, three Emmy Award nominations (with one win as producer) and an Academy Award nomination.