Rita Owens and Queen Latifah

Queen Latifah is mourning the loss of her mother, Rita Owens who died after a long battle with congestive heart failure on Wednesday.

Queen Latifah, who was born Dana Owens, announced her mother's passing in a statement to PEOPLE on Wednesday.

"It is with a heavy heart that I share the news my mother, Rita Owens passed away today,” Latifah said. “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 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 Latif?ah), forever Rita Owens’ daughter.”

Latifah, 48, first opened up about her mother's heart condition in a 2015 interview with Parade magazine. She said Owens first began experiencing symptoms of heart failure in 2004.

"My mom started feeling fatigued easily -- even after a full night’s sleep, she’d wake up exhausted."

Latifah said Owens was diagnosed with CHF after she collapsed at work one day.

 "She never smoked, never drank, wasn’t overweight. She had sleep apnea [a disorder which causes you to briefly stop breathing while you sleep, and can lead to heart failure] but didn’t realize it."

Latifah said Owens' doctor prescribed a CPAP breathing machine to treat her sleep apnea, but by then Owens' heart condition was irreversible.

Owens made regular guest appearances playing Latifah's mom on the '90s hit TV comedy series 'Living Single'. She also had bit parts in Latifah's comedy movies The Cookout (2004) and Cookout 2 (2011).

Owens, a Wayne, New Jersey resident, previously co-owned Mangos soul food and Caribbean restaurant on Main Street in Hackensack. According to Northjersey.com, Owens, who ran Mangos with business partner Annette Coleman, served several pro basketball players when the restaurant opened for business in 2006.

In 2016, Owens taped a video with Queen Latifah for the American Heart Association as part of the "Rise Above Heart Failure" initiative to increase awareness and decrease hospitalizations due to heart failure.

In the video, Latifah spoke about how Owens was always there for her and inspired her after Owens' diagnosis. "My mom is the strongest person I know," Latifah said.

Latifah's celebrity friends paid tribute to Owens on Twitter.com.

Rapper Missy Elliott tweeted:

"My condolences to my sis @IAMQUEENLATIFAH I know how close you & Mama Owens were we always talked about our moms & my 1st time meeting her she treated me like family I know this hit so hard.. i lift you up in Prayer for strength... you are loved... #RitaOwens rest peacefully."

And Latifah's 'Living Single' co-star Erika Alexander wrote:

"Godspeed to our beloved mother Rita Owens. She was one-of-a-kind and I’m better off having met her. Luckily she left her beautiful palimpsest, on her daughter, my friend and sister Dana. Godspeed gorgeous Rita. Xo you Dana. @IAMQUEENLATIFAH".



Photo by Dan Steinberg/Getty Images

  • pecancandy

    Deepest condolences.

  • SpiceGirl

    Prayers to Dana and her family......

  • TheyDontHearMeTho

    Damn shortly after her bday ?

  • Yardgirl

    So sad. RIP Ms. Owens

  • ShadesofEMPRESS

    My condolences to Queen Latifah. RIP to Ms Rita.

  • Kim’s Original Face

    So sad to hear this..I remember all of her cameos on living single! so sad. May god rest her soul!

  • Quitedeliteful

    So sad. No words to describe losing a mother. .?

  • stav

    My heart and condolences goes out to family and friends.

  • Kanyade

    Oh, rest in peace and power, Rita Owens. Living Single - one of my absolute favorite shows. Her and Chip's appeareances on the show were wonderful, felt real and made more the real the characters of Khadijah and Regine. Blessings to Dana and family.

  • Missy

    U could see how genuinely close they were...May she RIP..

  • http://batman-news.com Roderick2011

    So will the Queen come out of the closet now that her mother has transitioned?

    Marsha Warfield stated that she didn't want Marsha to come out until after she had passed.

  • DaughterOfaQueen


  • Noirluv45

    Losing Mom is a painful road. My heartfelt sympathies go out to the Queen.

  • Noirluv45

    I wish I can give you a million thumbs up! My mom died 6 years ago and the pain is real even now.

  • Victoria Johnson Wise

    Prayers to Dana and her family...RIP Rita Owens <3

  • Monique B

    Stay strong our queen, GOD IS WATCHING OVER YOU!!

  • Kemi

    RIP ma’am. Condolences to family and friends. May they find the strength and comfort to carry on.

  • http://batman-news.com Roderick2011

    I was like was Marsha ever in the closet.
    I was a teenager when she was on Night Court and I always knew there was something different about 'Roz'.

  • MsPam

    I know, I miss my mom everyday!?

  • Hope Ushery


  • SpillyNillie

    Prayers going up for the Queen...RIP Ms. Rita...

  • Lady_Elle

    My sincere condolences to Queen Latifah, her family & Other Loved ones.
    RIP Ms. Owens.

  • ???TheRider???

    RIP to the Queen's mother. I loved when she and Chip Fields guest starred on Living Single as Khadijah and Regine's mothers, always hilarious!

  • Bonita

    So sad. That's some pain I'm not looking forward to.

  • WutizstillHERE!

    Rest well Queen of the Queen.

  • Mec-One

    And then there's that guy ...... smh

  • DaughterOfaQueen

    I replied "really" because your comment just seemed a little insensitive to me. The topic was about Queen losing her mother, not about her sexuality...

  • http://batman-news.com Roderick2011

    What guy?

  • http://batman-news.com Roderick2011

    Most 'straight' black people obsess over other people's sexuality and Dana's sexuality has been a hot topic forever.

  • Ebony Starr

    Condolences to Queen. You could tell that those 2 women truly loved each other!

  • DaughterOfaQueen

    Just nevermind...this is requiring way more attention, effort and energy from me than I'm willing to give. Bye girl

  • Tammie Reed

    So sad, may she RIP.

  • You Could Never

    My heart broke last night when I heard this news. Been a HUGE fan since the start. RIP to Mama Owens. And glad Dana still has her dad. Lance Senior. I recall how heartbroken she was when Lance Jr passed. Hopefully they can find comfort in one another during all of this. I know she is close to her dad too.

  • You Could Never

    And yet Marsha came out anyway. And glad she did.

    That has nothing to do with this though. RIP to her mom should be the overwhelming sentiment here right now.

  • Y’all Jealous Cuz I’m Prudy

    Sending prayers to her and her dad. They seemed very close and I'm sure heartbroken is an understatement, after losing her mom. Hopefully her and her dad can be each others light.

  • Rayne

    I’m sorry for your loss Queen. Rip Momma Owens

  • Crazy tee

    They were really close...RIP Ms Rita Owens ?

  • SaltineCrackers

    Aww Rest In Peace :(

  • justlooking

    My sincere prayers going out to the Queen and her family. Rest Easy Mother Owens.

  • Karen Brady

    So sad. Such a nice close family. Remember back in the day when Queen wore her brother's motorcycle key on a chain all the time? RIP Ms. Owens.

  • Karen Brady

    Yes they were.

  • KcoolMuziq
  • http://batman-news.com Roderick2011

    Bye b1tch!!

  • http://batman-news.com Roderick2011

    Do you think it was an accident that Sandra included the message from Missy E?
    Sandra, you ain't slick.

  • Jahnée Gill Mr.Eddie Murphy??

    You should be more worried about taking care of your own mama. You know the women that hates you and refuses to tell you who your real daddy is. The same woman that you bust your ass to take care of only for her to still hate and resent you.

    You in here starting shit like the insufferable gay man that you are. Calling women bitches when the real bitch is yo mama.

  • morenYAHdelsur

    NOOO! Aww so sad to hear she lost her mom. Moms was just as famous as her daughter LOL. They did the vh1 Mother’s Day tribute not long ago too.

  • Yoni7

    RIP Mrs. Owens. So sad to hear this.

  • Yoni7


  • http://batman-news.com Roderick2011

    Drop dead cvnt!!

  • http://batman-news.com Roderick2011

    *block me*

  • Tee Bullock

    Awe I'm sorry Queen

  • NeverSurprised

    So sorry to hear this. I've encountered Dana many times in NY, and I can honestly say she is one of the nicest, most down to earth celebs anyone will ever meet, friendly to EVERY SINGLE PERSON who approaches her. I know she is heartbroken, but she was lucky to have a loving mother who helped inspire her success. RIP Mrs. Owens.??

  • ZRoJoTheLezBeyond

    R.I.H. Mrs.Owens

  • Renee26

    RIP ...Prayers for the family

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1lo6u-UIbo Nancy Drew-Natural & Luv’n It!

    OMG, this is shocking and sad. Rest in peace to this beautiful sister, and prayers for peace & comfort go up for Dana and fam.

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1lo6u-UIbo Nancy Drew-Natural & Luv’n It!

    OMG, this is shocking and sad. Rest in peace to this beautiful sister, and prayers for peace & comfort go up for Dana and fam.

  • You Could Never


    People.com posted the same message. From one black female rapper to another?


  • http://sandrarose.com SandraRose

    Did Missy and Latifah have beef?

  • http://sandrarose.com SandraRose

    She took the loss of her brother extremely hard.

  • Ghost

    Very sorry to hear...I know how it feels to loose Mama. Praying for her...

  • Lady Elle

    So sorry to hear this. RIP

  • http://sandrarose.com SandraRose

    With all her money, I wonder if Queen considered a heart transplant for her mom?


    R.I.P..... I loved watching her on living singles with Kim Fields Mom.

  • http://batman-news.com Roderick2011

    No, but Missy is also an alleged lesbian.

  • http://batman-news.com Roderick2011

    So in your view lesbianism is bad.


  • Readytochokemothernatureout

    Rest in love to Ms. Owens

  • You Could Never

    I will never forget that period of time when she lost him. Pre-internet but you could see literal sadness in her during interviews and what not for months...year plus afterwards.

  • Mrs. S. Kidd

    New organs have so many risks.

  • http://batman-news.com Roderick2011

    So Sandra just did a copy/paste job?

  • http://sandrarose.com SandraRose

    Dick Cheney got a heart transplant at age 71.

  • Patricia Ann Kuhn

    I remember seeing her on her daughter's talk show. She was a beautiful soul. Sending the Lord's comfort upon her and her family. God bless. her legacy will carry on within Queen forever.

  • Patricia Ann Kuhn

    I remember seeing her on her daughter's talk show. She was a beautiful soul. Sending the Lord's comfort upon her and her family. God bless. her legacy will carry on within Queen forever.

  • http://sandrarose.com SandraRose

    Alleged?? Chile, Missy is a raging lesbian. Everybody knows that. ?

  • Mrs. S. Kidd

    Auntie, Dick Cheney is not a picture of health. Every time I hear his name it's about some health scare or another.

  • hottlanta

    Awwwww mom glad that she got to see her baby girl accomplish so much before she passed away.

  • Layah Jhene

    Damn RIP. But CHF is curable with herbs. If used the right way.

  • Coffee1st

    Sooo, you just gonna leave that right there???
    Do tell.

  • Coffee1st

    Sorry to hear this.
    I love Latifah. Praying for her peace and comfort.

  • Layah Jhene

    Diet change, exercise, herbs for failing heart (Linden Flower which is known as Tila Tea, Hawthorne Berries, Hawthorne leaf and Flower, Burdock Root, Soursop leaf, Sarsaparilla Root, Yellow Dock, Nopal Cactus powder, Nettle, Saffron Tea) You have to know what's causing your heart failure. Is is Sleep apnea? High blood pressure? Kidney disease? Etc? But anywho make those herbs into tea and drink it 3x a day until your heart function is normal. Then do a kidney cleanse and artery cleanse. But eat healthy. No meat, dairy, or processed foods.Eat Alkaline, learn about healing herbs for the body.

  • Kimberly King

    RIP Mama Latifah !

  • Lorenzo Chaps


    Can we put to rest "my sis, my brother" etc.,? Please?

  • Yashara Bat Orion

    R I P Mrs. Owens. ????

  • Sheilae2010

    Her heart failure was symptom of Systemic Scleroderma which is a rare autoimmune disorder that causes chronic hardening and tightening of the skin and connective tissues. It’s kind of scary because I have the exact disorder and CHF. The one thing I never understood is why they never mention Scleroderma granted it is a destructive disorder, but awareness leads to cures. Scleroderma.org

  • Kita Williams

    when they did the interview and she was crying...I was crying like she went through soooo much. still has that necklace with the key on it

  • Trace da Ace

    RIP..such a beautiful woman

  • Jahnée Gill Mr.Eddie Murphy??

    Tell that to you shitty worthless mother! Eat a rancid dack, you loose booty mitch! Fcuk off!

  • Coffee1st

    Thanks for the info. I will Def look into it. I don't hAve chf, but know many that do. It's a killer. Do you actually know of anyone whoSE chf was reversed?

  • Layah Jhene

    Me! I had it twice due to high blood pressure. My heart was pumping at 25% and was facing heart transplant. We gotta change what we eat and learn to properly detox. Get your kidneys together, clean out your arteries and eat foods that strengthen the heart muscle. Look up Dr Sebi on Congestive Heart Failure. Look up Master Healer Patrick Delves. Patrick Delves is on Facebook and have many videos on how to heal the body. He also just did a video a few weeks ago on Congestive Heart Failure. Good luck with your research and Be bless. Hit me back if you need help with anything else.