Veteran rapper Queen Latifah is mourning the death of her mother, Rita Owens, who passed away on Wednesday (March 21) after struggling with a heart condition for more than 10 years.
Latifah broke the news in a statement given to People, saying, “It is with a heavy heart that I share the news my mother, Rita Owens passed away today. Anyone that has ever met her knows what a bright light she was on this earth. She was gentle, but strong, sweet, but sassy, worldly but pragmatic, a woman of great faith and certainly the love of my life.”
“She had struggled with a heart condition for many years and her battle is now over,” Latifah continued. “I am heartbroken but know she is at peace. Thank you for your kindness, support and respect for our privacy at this time. Much Love, Dana Owens (aka Queen Latifah), forever Rita Owens’ daughter.”
Owens, a former art teacher in the same New Jersey high school Queen Latifah attended, opened up about her diagnosis in a 2015 interview with People. “I found myself becoming a recluse,” Owens said. “You have to understand your body is not processing the same way it was before. I started counting the things I can’t do instead of the things I can do. And I said, ‘Nope, this is not acceptable.’”
We send our condolences to Queen Latifah and her family.