Queen Latifah, the stage/screen name of Dana Owens, turns 47 today. She first became known as a rapper; her debut album came out in 1989 and was followed by two more in the next four years. Her third album, Black Reign, included her Grammy-winning single “U.N.I.T.Y.” By the time that album was released she had made her film debut in Jungle Fever and had a starring role on Fox’s Living Single. In the late nineties she had prominent roles in films like Set It Off and The Bone Collector.
In 2002, Latifah had her most acclaimed film role, receiving Oscar and Golden Globe nominations as “Mama” Morton in Chicago. More recently, she was a Golden Globe winner and an Emmy nominee for the HBO film Life Support, and she currently is a regular on Fox’s Star. As a musician, she has evolved from a rapper into more of a jazz and R&B vocalist on albums like The Dana Owens Album and Trav’lin’ Light.