Dana Elaine Owens (born March 18, 1970), better known by her stage name Queen Latifah, is an American singer, rapper, model, and actress. Her work in music, film and television has earned her a Golden Globe award, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, two Image Awards, a Grammy Award, six additional Grammy nominations, an Emmy Award nomination and an Academy Award nomination. Latifah was born in Newark, New Jersey, and lived primarily in East Orange, New Jersey. She is the daughter of Rita (ne Bray), a teacher at Irvington High School (Latifah's alma mater) and Lancelot Owens, Sr., a police officer, her parents divorced when Latifah was ten. Latifah was raised in the Baptist church and attended Catholic school in Newark, New Jersey. Her stage name, Latifah ( lafa), meaning 'delicate' and 'very kind' in Arabic, she found in an Islamic book of names when she was eight. Always a tall girl, the 5'10' Latifah was a power forward on her high school women basketball team.
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