Legal name: Dana Elaine Owens
Dana Elaine Owens (born March 18, 1970), known professionally by her stage name Queen Latifah, is an American rapper, songwriter, singer, actress, model, television producer, record producer, comedian, and talk show host. Born in Newark, New Jersey, she signed with Tommy Boy Records in 1989 and released her debut album All Hail the Queen the same year, featuring the hit single "Ladies First". Her second album, Nature of a Sista (1991), was her final album with Tommy Boy Records.
Latifah starred as Khadijah James on the FOX sitcom Living Single, from 1993 to 1998. Her third album Black Reign (1993), spawned the single "U.N.I.T.Y.", which won a Grammy Award and was successful on the Billboard Hot 100. She then starred in the lead role of Set It Off (1996) and released her fourth album, Order in the Court, in 1998, with Motown Records. Latifah gained mainstream success and acclaim with her performance in the film Chicago (2002), receiving an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.
Latifah released her fifth album The Dana Owens Album in 2004, and has since appeared in a number of films, such as Bringing Down the House (2003), Taxi (2004), Barbershop 2: Back in Business (2005), Beauty Shop (2005), Last Holiday (2006), Hairspray (2007) and Joyful Noise (2012). In 2007 and 2009, she released two more studio albums – Trav'lin' Light and Persona. She created the daytime talk show The Queen Latifah Show, which ran from late 2013 to early 2015 on CBS. Latifah received critical acclaim for her portrayal of blues singer Bessie Smith in the HBO film Bessie (2015), which she co-produced, winning the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Television Movie.
She has long been considered one of hip-hop's pioneer feminists. Queen Latifah received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2006. Latifah's work in music, film and television has earned her a Grammy Award, an Emmy Award, a Golden Globe award, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, two NAACP Image Awards, an Academy Award nomination and sales of over two million records.