Our love, prayers and deepest condolences go out to Queen Latifah and her family.
The Oscar-nominated actress has announced that her mother died on Wednesday after battling with a heart condition.
The 48-year-old – real name Dana Elaine Owens – released a statement about mom Rita Owens to People on Thursday.
The Ladies First artist said: ‘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.’
The legendary raptress went on to reveal that her mother had lived with her heart ailment for an extended period.
Latifah 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.’
In recent years Latifah has been open about her mother’s long battle.
‘I’ve just learned how much you can love a person and just how strong my mother is,’ she revealed during an interview with People back in September.
‘I’ve come to respect her in ways you can’t even imagine.’
The Bessie actress took care of her mom in her New Jersey home when she wasn’t working.
‘As a caregiver – it’s just like being a parent, like some things really don’t matter,’ Latifah said.
‘All the kind of frivolous things sort of fall to the side because there’s something way more important than all that.
‘And when we go through these things together as a family, I realize, these are the important things, these are the important moments.’
She also said that at the time Rita had a defibrillator implanted in her chest to prevent a heart attack.
Latifah said: ‘I watched her come through so many things, ups and downs, hospitalizations.’
‘I mean really being in the ICU for that matter – you know, going through tough times and watching her come back and bounce back, and still maintain this sense of humor, and love and drive and will.’
‘I just love her so much more, I respect her so much more. She really just gives me hope for life and the world.’