Queen Latifah turned 50 years old today (March 18). Born Dana Elaine Owens in Newark, New Jersey, Latifah signed with Tommy Boy Records in 1989. She released her debut album All Hail the Queen on Nov. 28, 1989. The album spawned the hit single "Ladies First".
Latifah, pictured at age 18, sold over 2 million records in her illustrious career. She was dubbed the "Queen of Jazz-Rap" following her breakout role in the musical Chicago (2002) for which she received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Latifah was inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2006 and the New Jersey Hall of Fame in 2011.
Latifah posed with her mom, Rita Lamae Owens (née Bray), a former high school teacher. Rita Owens played her mother in Living Single. She passed away from heart failure on March 21, 2018.
Latifah posed with Jaz-O, left, and a young Jay-Z with gold teeth at rapper Big Daddy Kane's Birthday Party in New York City in a photo dated September 10, 1989.
Latifah played the level-headed, but man crazy Khadijah James On the FOX TV sitcom Living Single from 1993 to 1998. Along the way, she released more albums as well as produced music for other acts such as Naughty By Nature.
She won a Grammy Award for her women's rights anthem "U.N.I.T.Y." which peaked at #23 on the Billboard chart.
Latifah gained a new generation of fans when she played a butch lesbian in the bank heist film Set It Off (1996), also starring Kimberly Elise, Vivica Fox and Jada Pinkett.
Latifah had longterm relationships with women over the years, including rapper MC Lyte, singer Monifah and actress Tichina Arnold. She is currently "married" to Eboni Nichols (pictured), but she has never officially come out of the closet.
Queen Latifah and Wendy Williams re-enacted a scene from 'Mob Wives' during a special segment of 'Hairpiece Theatre' on the Wendy Williams Show in 2012.
Latifah pictured with Jimmy Fallon on the set of the film Taxi in New York City in 2003.
Latifah is surrounded by fans at her beach party during the Miami premiere of the comedy film 'The Cookout' held at The Delano Hotel on South Beach in 2004.
Latifah with Cedric the Entertainer (left) and Ice Cube (right) on the set of Barbershop 2: Back in Business in 2004.
Latifah honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Hollywood, California in 2006.
Latifah attends the Los Angeles premiere of Hairspray held in Westwood, California in 2007.
Latifah with music producer/rapper Missy Elliott (center) and Cardi B (right) at the 2019 Video Music Awards after party on August 26, 2019 in New York City.