QUEEN LATIFAH Biography - Musicians


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Name: Queen Latifah                                                                   
Born: Dana Elaine Owens                                                               
Born: 18 March 1970 Newark, New Jersey                                                 
Dana Elaine Owens (born March 18, 1970), better known by the stage name Queen         
Latifah, is an American rapper, singer, and actress. Latifah's work in music,         
film and television has earned her a Golden Globe award, Grammy Award, five           
additional Grammy nominations, two Screen Actors Guild Award, an Emmy Award           
nomination and an Academy Award nomination.                                           
Latifah was born in Newark, New Jersey, the daughter of Rita, a schoolteacher         
who worked at Irvington High School, and Lancelot Owens, a policeman.                 
Her parents divorced when Latifah was ten. Latifah performed the number "Home"         
from the musical The Wiz in a high school play. Her stage name, Latifah,               
meaning "kind" in Arabic, was given to her when she was eight by her cousin.           
Latifah was raised in the Baptist religion, and, while in high school, was a           
power forward on her basketball team.                                                 
Latifah started her career beatboxing for the rap group Ladies Fresh. Latifah         
was one of the members of the original version of the Flavor Unit, which, at           
that time, was a crew of emcees grouped around producer DJ Mark the 45 King. In       
1988, DJ Mark the 45 King heard a demo version of Latifah's single "Princess of       
the Posse" and gave the demo to Fab Five Freddy, who was the host of Yo! MTV           
Raps. Freddy helped Latifah sign with Tommy Boy Records, which released Latifah's     
first album All Hail the Queen in 1989, when she was nineteen. That year, she         
appeared as Referee on the UK label Music of Life album "1989 The Hustlers             
Convention (live)". Her debut managed to be both a critical and a commercial           
success and was followed by the albums Nature of a Sista and Black Reign, which       
contained the Grammy Award winning hit single, U.N.I.T.Y. In 1998, she released       
her fourth hip-hop album Order in the Court. In 2004, she released the soul/jazz       
standards The Dana Owens Album.                                                       
On July 11, 2007, Latifah made her singing debut at the famed Hollywood Bowl in       
Los Angeles as the headliner act in a live jazz concert. Before an enthusiastic       
crowd of more than 12,400, she was backed by a 10-piece live orchestra and three       
backup vocalists, aka The Queen Latifah Orchestra. In the concert, Latifah             
performed new arrangements of standards including California Dreaming, first           
made popular by '60s icons The Mama's and The Papa's.                                 
In 2007, Latifah released an album entitled Trav'lin' Light. Jill Scott, Erykah       
Badu, Joe Sample, George Duke, Christian McBride, Stevie Wonder made guest             
appearances on the project. It has been nominated for a Grammy in the "Best           
Traditional Pop Vocal Album" category.