Queen Latifah Talks About Loss and Success as More Cover Girl

The new talk show host recalls how Jada Pinkett-Smith helped her get therapy.

Posted: 10/02/2013 11:52 AM EDT
Queen Latifah

(Photo: MORE Magazine, October 2013)

Queen Latifah is settling into her new role as talk show host with The Queen Latifah Show, which debuted September 16, but she wants us to know that she's not trying to take over the void left by talk show queen Oprah Winfrey.

"This is a learning experience. I'm not going to pretend to be Oprah Winfrey. That woman built a 25-year show. I've got to get through week one, then month one. I expect to make mistakes and learn and grow," she says.

Latifah is currently gracing the cover of More magazine's October issue looking radiant in natural makeup and a gorgeous smile. Inside, she talks about her success and how she overcame the extreme loss she felt after her older brother passed away in a motorcycle accident in 1992.

"Jada [Pinkett-Smith] was the first person who got me to go to therapy. I was really having problems dealing with the loss. I didn't feel. It was like I had a circuit breaker. When I felt any emotion too much, whether it was joy, fear, love, it would turn right off. So that was scaring me. I thought I was about to live my life not living my life. I was doing things to numb whatever was left or looking for little rushes of some sort. Going through the motions, doing my job, showing up for work but not feeling..."

Pinkett-Smith, who's Latifah's friend as well as production partner, also chimed in with her first impressions of Queen Latifah when they met as teenagers at a Baltimore club and how the rapper commanded attention by not being afraid to be herself.

"She was barefoot, wrapped in this African garb with the headpiece [when I first met her]," Pinkett-Smith recalls. "I was so impressed with this Black woman my age who was representing herself as an African queen. It was a bold statement in a very male-dominated industry."


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