Queen Latifah is mourning the loss of her mother Rita Owens today. Owens, who was 69 years old, passed away on Wednesday, March 21st after struggling with a heart condition for more than a decade.
In a statement shared with People, the 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, worldy 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 shares. “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.”
Queen Latifah posted a video of a photo of her mother looking happy and exuberant and captioned it with “143,” which means “I love you.”
Some of Latifah’s celebrity friends have posted photos in tribute to their friend’s mother. Monica posted a photo Rita with her daughter, giving her condolences.
The bond between a mother and her only daughter is indescribably beautiful !! Dana I love you & we’re praying for you !! Ms. Rita treated each of us like her own. She gave the most genuine hugs and pleasant smiles.. Her support for all things Queen was relentless! She will FOREVER be with you!! Rest Well Ms. Rita ……
MC Lyte also posted a photo of the mother-daughter pair together.
Missy Elliott said that she is “lifting [her] up in prayer for strength.”
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 hardi lift you up in Prayer for strength you are loved❤️ #RitaOwens rest peacefully pic.twitter.com/RTKjbihePO
— Missy Elliott (@MissyElliott) March 22, 2018
Iyanla Vanzant said that she “has [Latifah’s] back” during this trying time.
My heart and prayers are with you my Beloved Sister-Woman @IAMQUEENLATIFAH Lifting you and your family moment by moment. I've got your back on the prayer side.
— Iyanla Vanzant (@IyanlaVanzant) March 22, 2018
Our thoughts go out to Queen Latifah and her family.
Queen Latifah covers Phoebe Snow’s ’Poetry Man’ as a special tribute to her mother at Dear Mama.