Queen Latifah Mourns the Death of Her Mother Rita Owens

"I am heartbroken but know she is at peace."

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.

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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.”

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“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.”

143

A post shared by Queen Latifah (@queenlatifah) on

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.

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.”

Iyanla Vanzant said that she “has [Latifah’s] back” during this trying time.

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.

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