The Evolution of Queen Latifah

Queen Latifah makes a guest appearance on LST!

All Hail the Queen! - All hail the Queen! Rapper-actor-model-entrepreneur Queen Latifah, who turns 43 on March 18. Looking back at her superstar successes, we're sure Latifah is proud. But the her journey to the top of the game wasn't a short one. Click on to see how the Queen got her crown. (Photo: EPA/JUSTIN LANE/Landov)

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All Hail the Queen! - All hail the Queen! Rapper-actor-model-entrepreneur Queen Latifah, who turns 43 on March 18. Looking back at her superstar successes, we're sure Latifah is proud. But the her journey to the top of the game wasn't a short one. Click on to see how the Queen got her crown. (Photo: EPA/JUSTIN LANE/Landov)

The Evolution of Queen Latifah - Dana Elaine Owens was born in East Orange, New Jersey, to a schoolteacher mom and a police officer dad. She found her stage name, Latifah, meaning "delicate" and "very kind" in Arabic, in a muslim book of names at the age of 8. She caught the entertainment bug early, singing ?Home? from the musical The Wiz in a high school play. (Photo: WENN)

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The Evolution of Queen Latifah - Dana Elaine Owens was born in East Orange, New Jersey, to a schoolteacher mom and a police officer dad. She found her stage name, Latifah, meaning "delicate" and "very kind" in Arabic, in a muslim book of names at the age of 8. She caught the entertainment bug early, singing ?Home? from the musical The Wiz in a high school play. (Photo: WENN)

Queen Latifah feat. Monie Love, "Ladies First" - Perhaps the dopest feminist rap song of all time, Latifah's debut single was a powerful statement: "Who said the ladies couldn't make it, you must be blind/If you don't believe, well here, listen to this rhyme..." Latifah sets up, before launching into a multi-award-winning career that spans music, TV, and movies.(Photo: Tommy Boy Records)

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Queen Latifah feat. Monie Love, "Ladies First" - Perhaps the dopest feminist rap song of all time, Latifah's debut single was a powerful statement: "Who said the ladies couldn't make it, you must be blind/If you don't believe, well here, listen to this rhyme..." Latifah sets up, before launching into a multi-award-winning career that spans music, TV, and movies.(Photo: Tommy Boy Records)

Queen Latifah, "U.N.I.T.Y." - In Queen Latifah?s classic "U.N.I.T.Y.," she strikes back at men who abuse women verbally and physically. In one case -- though violence is not advicated here -- the Queen gets hands-on with her defense: ?I punched him dead in his eye and said, ?Who you calling a b---h??"  (Photo: MoTown Records)

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Queen Latifah, "U.N.I.T.Y." - In Queen Latifah?s classic "U.N.I.T.Y.," she strikes back at men who abuse women verbally and physically. In one case -- though violence is not advicated here -- the Queen gets hands-on with her defense: ?I punched him dead in his eye and said, ?Who you calling a b---h??" (Photo: MoTown Records)

Majestic Movie Debut - Director Spike Lee tapped the Queen to star in his interracial romantic drama Jungle Fever, where she made her feature film debut. She played the scene-stealing Lashawn, a very difficult Sylvia?s Restaurant waitress who was not happy with her customers (played by Wesley Snipes and Annabella Sciorra.)  (Photo: Universal Pictures)

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Majestic Movie Debut - Director Spike Lee tapped the Queen to star in his interracial romantic drama Jungle Fever, where she made her feature film debut. She played the scene-stealing Lashawn, a very difficult Sylvia?s Restaurant waitress who was not happy with her customers (played by Wesley Snipes and Annabella Sciorra.) (Photo: Universal Pictures)

Living Single Lady - Queen Latifah starred as magazine editor Khadijah James on the hit TV comedy series Living Single. The sitcom, created by Yvette Lee Bowser, followed the lives of six single friends, living in a Brownstone in New York City. A precursor to Friends, Living Single also starred Kim Fields and Kim Coles and ran for five seasons.  (Photo: Courtesy Sister Lee Productions/ Warner Bros. Television) 

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Living Single Lady - Queen Latifah starred as magazine editor Khadijah James on the hit TV comedy series Living Single. The sitcom, created by Yvette Lee Bowser, followed the lives of six single friends, living in a Brownstone in New York City. A precursor to Friends, Living Single also starred Kim Fields and Kim Coles and ran for five seasons. (Photo: Courtesy Sister Lee Productions/ Warner Bros. Television) 

The Evolution of Queen Latifah - Meanwhile, Latifah was also making moves behind the scenes?in the boardroom to be exact. She came up as part of DJ-producer Mark the 45 King's Flavor Unit crew, which also included Apache, Chill Rob and Lateef. But as her success grew, the brand evolved into her umbrella organization, responsible for all her business dealings, including production, management and real estate. Under Latifah and partner Shakim Compere, Flavor Unit became one of rap's preeminent management companies, with a list of clients and former clients that includes OutKast, Naughty by Nature and others.(Photo: Sony BMG)

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The Evolution of Queen Latifah - Meanwhile, Latifah was also making moves behind the scenes?in the boardroom to be exact. She came up as part of DJ-producer Mark the 45 King's Flavor Unit crew, which also included Apache, Chill Rob and Lateef. But as her success grew, the brand evolved into her umbrella organization, responsible for all her business dealings, including production, management and real estate. Under Latifah and partner Shakim Compere, Flavor Unit became one of rap's preeminent management companies, with a list of clients and former clients that includes OutKast, Naughty by Nature and others.(Photo: Sony BMG)

Queen Latifah, Set It Off - Latifah had already landed small roles in Juice and Jungle Fever, but her turn as a bank robber in 1996's Set It Off showed that she was ready for more screen time, leading the way for her Oscar-nominated role in Chicago and other acclaimed films. She doesn't have a star on Hollywood Boulevard for nothing. (Photo: New Line Cinema)

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Queen Latifah, Set It Off - Latifah had already landed small roles in Juice and Jungle Fever, but her turn as a bank robber in 1996's Set It Off showed that she was ready for more screen time, leading the way for her Oscar-nominated role in Chicago and other acclaimed films. She doesn't have a star on Hollywood Boulevard for nothing. (Photo: New Line Cinema)

The Evolution of Queen Latifah - Latifah started getting more and more mainstream attention with the two-year run of her syndicated talk show, The Queen Latifah Show.(Photo: Reuters)

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The Evolution of Queen Latifah - Latifah started getting more and more mainstream attention with the two-year run of her syndicated talk show, The Queen Latifah Show.(Photo: Reuters)

Mama Morton Revisited  - Queen Latifah slayed her role as Matron Mama Morton in the film adaptation of Chicago. Hopefully, an official Broadway debut is in her near future.   (Photo: Miramax Films)

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Mama Morton Revisited  - Queen Latifah slayed her role as Matron Mama Morton in the film adaptation of Chicago. Hopefully, an official Broadway debut is in her near future. (Photo: Miramax Films)

The Evolution of Queen Latifah - Latifah landed one of her first lead roles in the 2003 comedy and box-office smash Bringing Down the House, which also starred Steve Martin.  (Photo: Touchstone Pictures)

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The Evolution of Queen Latifah - Latifah landed one of her first lead roles in the 2003 comedy and box-office smash Bringing Down the House, which also starred Steve Martin.  (Photo: Touchstone Pictures)

The Evolution of Queen Latifah - After showing off her surprisingly strong pipes in Chicago, Latifah followed through with a new LP, 2004's The Dana Owens Album, which found her switching lanes away from rap and belting out jazz standards. The boundary-breaking album was her most successful to date, selling more than 600,000 copies. (Photo: Flavor Unit)

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The Evolution of Queen Latifah - After showing off her surprisingly strong pipes in Chicago, Latifah followed through with a new LP, 2004's The Dana Owens Album, which found her switching lanes away from rap and belting out jazz standards. The boundary-breaking album was her most successful to date, selling more than 600,000 copies. (Photo: Flavor Unit)

The Evolution of Queen Latifah - For her regal work in film, TV and music throughout her career, Latifah was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2006.(Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

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The Evolution of Queen Latifah - For her regal work in film, TV and music throughout her career, Latifah was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2006.(Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Cover Girl Spokesperson - Breaking down doors for plus-size beauties of all colors, the Queen is a spokesperson for Cover Girl Cosmetics. She also introduced the CoverGirl Queen Collection of makeup, which provides cosmetic products for women of all shades.  (Photo: CoverGirl Cosmetics)

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Cover Girl Spokesperson - Breaking down doors for plus-size beauties of all colors, the Queen is a spokesperson for Cover Girl Cosmetics. She also introduced the CoverGirl Queen Collection of makeup, which provides cosmetic products for women of all shades. (Photo: CoverGirl Cosmetics)

The Evolution of Queen Latifah - Latifah had another star turn in 2010's Just Wright as a sports therapist who falls for her basketballer client, played by fellow rapper-turned-actor Common.  (Photo: Fox Searchlight Pictures)

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The Evolution of Queen Latifah - Latifah had another star turn in 2010's Just Wright as a sports therapist who falls for her basketballer client, played by fellow rapper-turned-actor Common. (Photo: Fox Searchlight Pictures)

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The Evolution of Queen Latifah - Latifah is busy as ever in 2012. Her new movie with Dolly Parton, Joyful Noise, came out this past January, extending the Queen's reign over Hollywood. Watch the throne.(Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

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