Dana's Personal Story

Dana Elaine Owens, today better known as Queen Latifah, was born on March 18, 1970, in Newark, New Jersey. She is the daughter of her father, Lancelot Owens, Sr, a former police officer, and her mother, Rita (Bray) Owens, an art teacher at Irvington High School in New Jersey. Queen Latifah is known through out the world from her music as a singer, a rapper, her film acting career, her television acting career, and as a producer, to name a few.

When Dana was eight years old, she was given an Arabic book of names by her cousin. She felt her given name, Dana, was boring, and was teased at school by boys because they thought her birth name, Dana, was a boys name. She chose the name Latifah because, in Arabic, it means "delicate, sensitive, kind, nice". This particular name appealed to her because she felt it represented who she really was.

Queen Latifah had bought her policeman brother, Lancelot Owens, Jr., a motorcycle for his 24th birthday. In 1992, while off-duty, he was in an accident that claimed his life. To this day, Queen Latifah wears the key to that motocycle around her neck. In her 1999 autobiography, Ladies First: Revelations of a Strong Woman, Queen Latifah discusses how this devestating event brought a bout of depression and drug abuse to the her, which she was later able to recover from.