Dana Owens was only a teenager when she claimed her crown as Queen Latifah. But since 1988, the Newark, New Jersey native has ruled over a hip hop queendom and turned herself into a bankable brand as well as a household name. She started out beatboxing for the rap group Ladies Fresh before her solo demo, the rockers-laced "Princess of the Posse," caught the attention of MTV Raps VJ Fab Five Freddy. After the release of her fearless first album, 1989’s All Hail The Queen (featured hip hop’s #1 female empowerment anthem “Ladies First”), Latifah would go on to wear countless creative hats, from hosting a talk show to producing and starring in the sitcom Living Single; to writing a Grammy-Award-winning song (“U.N.I.T.Y.") that was positive but not preachy; to garnering an Oscar nomination for her performance in the 2002 film, Chicago. Along with her longtime business partner Shakim Compere, she runs the company Flavor Unit Entertainment, and has her own line of cosmetics for women of color aptly titled the CoverGirl Queen Collection.