Queen Latifah Speaks Out After Her Mom Rita Owens’ Death

Queen Latifah and her mother Rita Owens attend the 3rd annual BET Honors at the Warner Theatre on January 16, 2010 in Washington, DC.  Johnny Nunez/WireImage

Queen Latifah is mourning the death of her mother. Rita Owen passed away this week after struggling with a heart condition for years.

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“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,” Latifah, 48, told Us Weekly in a statement on Wednesday, March 21.

She added: “She had struggled with a heart condition for many years and her battle is now over. 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.”

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Two days earlier, the Girls Trip actress thanked fans for their support. “Words can’t to the express on the gratitude that I feel for the love and well wishes from friends family and all of you out there who just got love for the Queen!” she captioned an Instagram video of flowers. “But just know in the words of my brother Tupac, You are appreciated! Also please continue to send prayers up to my moms speedy recovery! GOD CAN!!!”

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Back in 2016, the star appeared in an American Heart Association video message with Owens in honor of Mother’s Day. “I can’t imagine my life without my mom,” she said at the time. “My mom is the strongest person I know, and she’s committed to rising about heart failure.”

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