Queen Latifah Net Worth & Biography - Celebrity Net Worth

By Mixxerly Updated: SEPTEMBER 22, 2021

Introduction

NET WORTH

$80M

Queen Latifah is an American singer, songwriter, rapper, actress, and producer. Born in Newark, New Jersey, she signed with Tommy Boy Records in 1989 and released her debut album All Hail the Queen on November 28, 1989, featuring the hit single "Ladies First". Nature of a Sista' (1991) was her second and final album with Tommy Boy Records.

Latifah starred as Khadijah James on the FOX sitcom Living Single from 1993 to 1998. Her third album, Black Reign (1993), spawned the single "U.N.I.T.Y.", which was influential in raising awareness of women's rights and the perspective of women in communities worldwide. The record won a Grammy Award and peaked at No. 23 on the Billboard Hot 100. As of , Queen Latifah has an estimated net worth of about $80M.

At a Glance

Full name: Dana Elaine Owens

Other names: Queen Latifah

Birthday: March 18, 1970

Age:

Net worth: $80M

Occupation: Rapper, Singer, Songwriter, Actress, Voice actress, Model, Producer, Talk Show Host.

Nationality: United States of America

Net Worth

Queen Latifah garnered acclaim with her role of Matron "Mama" Morton in the musical film Chicago (2002), receiving a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.

She created the daytime talk show The Queen Latifah Show, which ran from late 2013 to early 2015 on CBS. As of , Queen Latifah has an estimated net worth of about $80M.

Early life

Dana Elaine Owens was born in Newark, New Jersey, on March 18, 1970, and lived primarily in East Orange, New Jersey. She is the daughter of Rita Lamae (née Bray; d. 2018), a teacher at Irvington High School (Latifah's alma mater), and Lancelot Amos Owens, a police officer.

Owens attended Essex Catholic Girls' High School in Irvington, but graduated from Irvington High School. Her parents divorced when Latifah was ten. Latifah was raised in the Baptist faith and attended Catholic school in Newark, New Jersey. She found her stage name, Latifah (لطيفة laţīfa), meaning "delicate" and "very kind" in Arabic, in a book of Arabic names when she was eight.

Always tall, the 5-foot-10-inch (1.78 m) Latifah was a power forward on her high school basketball team. She performed the number "Home" from the musical The Wiz in a grammar school play. After high school, Queen Latifah attended classes at Borough of Manhattan Community College.

Career Highlights

Queen Latifah starred in the lead role of Set It Off (1996) and released her fourth album, Order in the Court, on June 16, 1998, with Motown Records. Latifah garnered acclaim with her role of Matron "Mama" Morton in the musical film Chicago (2002), receiving a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.

Latifah released her fifth album The Dana Owens Album in 2004. In 2007 and 2009, she released two more studio albums – Trav'lin' Light and Persona. She created the daytime talk show The Queen Latifah Show, which ran from late 2013 to early 2015 on CBS.

She has appeared in a number of films, such as Bringing Down the House (2003), Taxi (2004), Barbershop 2: Back in Business (2005), Beauty Shop (2005), Last Holiday (2006), Hairspray (2007), Joyful Noise (2012), 22 Jump Street (2014) and Girls Trip (2017).

She provided voice work in the Ice Age film series. Latifah received critical acclaim for her portrayal of blues singer Bessie Smith in the HBO film Bessie (2015), which she co-produced, winning the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Television Movie. From 2016 to 2019, she starred as Carlotta Brown in the musical drama series Star. In 2020, she portrayed Hattie McDaniel in the miniseries Hollywood.

She has been described as a "feminist" rapper. Latifah received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2006. Latifah's work in music, film and television has earned her a Grammy Award, an Emmy Award, a Golden Globe Award, three Screen Actors Guild Awards, two NAACP Image Awards, an Academy Award nomination and sales of over two million records.

Favorite Quotes from Queen Latifah

“You almost have to step outside yourself and look at you as if you were someone else you really care about and really want to protect. Would you let someone take advantage of that person? Would you let someone use that person you really care about? Or would you speak up for them? If it was someone else you care about, you’d say something. I know you would. Okay, now put yourself back in that body. That person is you. Stand up and tell ’em, “Enough!” – Queen Latifah
“I actually enjoy that I never really needed to be hanging out with every celebrity in Hollywood; I just go home and hang out with my cousins, my best friends. I’m not treated like royalty; they love me to death, but they don’t treat me like royalty. So it’s easy for me; they’ll tell me the truth, whether it hurts or not. And I need that; I’ve always been given that.” – Queen Latifah
“Hip-hop definitely taught me a lot. Having to create your own identity and become known and respected in a male-dominated field – it requires some guts. There are times you have to be strong, and times when you have to stand alone for what you believe in.” – Queen Latifah
“The good thing about movies is that they’re subjective. You can connect to different themes depending on your own perspective.” – Queen Latifah
“Look at people for an example, but then make sure to do things your way. Surround yourself with positive people.” – Queen Latifah

Music career

1988–1989: Career beginnings

She began beat boxing for the hip-hop group Ladies Fresh and was an original member of the Flavor Unit, which, at that time, was a crew of MCs grouped around producer DJ King Gemini, who made a demo recording of Queen Latifah's rap Princess of the Posse. He gave the recording to Fab 5 Freddy, the host of Yo! MTV Raps. The song got the attention of Tommy Boy Music employee Dante Ross, who signed Latifah and in 1989 issued her first single, "Wrath of My Madness". More recent artists, like Ice Cube and Lil' Kim, would go on to sample Latifah's track in their songs, "Wrath of Kim's Madness" and "You Can't Play With My Yo-Yo" in later years. Latifah has a two-octave vocal range. She is considered a contralto, having the ability to both rap and sing.

1989–2002: Rap and hip-hop

Latifah made her mark in hip-hop by rapping about issues surrounding being a black woman. Her songs covered topics including domestic violence, harassment on the streets, and relationship problems. Freddy helped Latifah sign with Tommy Boy Records, which released Latifah's first album All Hail the Queen in 1989, when she was nineteen.

That year, she appeared as Referee on the UK label Music of Life album 1989 – The Hustlers Convention (live). She received a Candace Award from the National Coalition of 100 Black Women in 1992. In 1993, she released the album Black Reign, which was certified Gold in the United States and produced the Grammy Award-winning song "U.N.I.T.Y."

In 1998, co-produced by Ro Smith, now CEO of Def Ro Inc., she released her fourth hip-hop album Order in the Court, which was released by Motown Records. Latifah was also a member of the hip-hop collective Native Tongues.

Latifah performed in the Super Bowl XXXII halftime show, making her the first rapper to do so.

2003–2009: Change to traditional singing

After Order in the Court, Latifah shifted primarily to singing soul music and jazz standards, which she had used sparingly in her previous hip-hop-oriented records. In 2004, she released the soul/jazz standards The Dana Owens Album. On July 11, 2007, Latifah sang at the famed Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles as the headlining act in a live jazz concert.

In front of a crowd of more than 12,400, she was backed by a 10-piece live orchestra and three backup vocalists, which was billed as the Queen Latifah Orchestra. Latifah performed new arrangements of standards including "California Dreaming", first made popular by 1960s icons the Mamas & the Papas.

Later in 2007, Latifah released an album titled Trav'lin' Light. Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Joe Sample, George Duke, Christian McBride, and Stevie Wonder made guest appearances. It was nominated for a Grammy in the "Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album" category.

In 2009, Latifah, along with the NJPAC Jubilation Choir, recorded the title track on the album Oh, Happy Day: An All-Star Music Celebration, covering the song that the Edwin Hawkins Singers made popular in 1969.

2008–present: Return to hip-hop

In 2008, Latifah was asked if she would make another hip-hop album. She was quoted stating that the album was done already and it would be called All Hail the Queen II. The following year, in 2009, she released her album Persona. The song "Cue the Rain" was released as the album's lead single. She also has a song with Missy Elliott. 2011 saw Queen Latifah sing "Who Can I Turn To" in a duet with Tony Bennett for his album "Duets II". In January 2012, while appearing on 106 & Park with Dolly Parton, to promote Joyful Noise, Latifah stated that she had been working on a new album.

On June 25, 2019, The New York Times Magazine listed Queen Latifah among hundreds of artists whose material was reportedly destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire.

Film and television

1991–2001: Early career

She began her film career in supporting roles in the 1991 and 1992 films House Party 2, Juice and Jungle Fever. Moreover, she has guest starred in two episodes during the second season (1991–1992) of the NBC hit The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and had a guest role as herself on Hangin' with Mr. Cooper in 1993.

From 1993 to 1998, Latifah had a starring role on Living Single, the FOX sitcom, which gained high ratings among black audiences; she also wrote and performed its theme music. Her mother Rita played her mother on-screen. Latifah appeared in the 1996 box-office hit, Set It Off, and had a supporting role in the Holly Hunter film Living Out Loud (1998).

She played the role of Thelma in the 1999 movie The Bone Collector, alongside Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie. She also had her own talk show, The Queen Latifah Show, from 1999 to 2001 and revamped in 2013. On January 6, 2014, The Queen Latifah Show was renewed for a second season. However, on November 21, 2014, Sony Pictures Television canceled Latifah's show due to declining ratings. Production of the series closed down, taking effect on December 18, 2014, leaving new episodes that were broadcast until March 6, 2015.

2002–present: Mainstream success

Although Latifah had previously received some critical acclaim, she gained mainstream success after being cast as Matron "Mama" Morton in Chicago, a musical film that won the Academy Award for Best Picture. Latifah herself received the nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her role, but lost to co-star Catherine Zeta-Jones.

Latifah is one of five hip-hop/R&B artists to receive an Academy Award nomination in an acting category. The others are Will Smith (Best Actor, Ali, 2001, and The Pursuit of Happyness, 2006), Jennifer Hudson (Best Supporting Actress, "Dreamgirls", 2007), Jamie Foxx, (Best Actor, Ray, and Best Supporting Actor Collateral, both in 2004, also winning the first) and Mary J. Blige, (Best Supporting Actress, Mudbound.)

In 2003, she starred with Steve Martin in the film Bringing Down the House, which was a major success at the box office. She also recorded a song "Do Your Thing" for the soundtrack. Since then, she has had both leading and supporting roles in a multitude of films that received varied critical and box office receptions, including films such as Scary Movie 3, Barbershop 2: Back in Business, Taxi, Kung Faux, Beauty Shop, and Hairspray.

In early 2006, Latifah appeared in a romantic comedy/drama entitled Last Holiday. Film critic Richard Roeper stated that "this is the Queen Latifah performance I've been waiting for ever since she broke into movies". Also in 2006, Latifah voiced Ellie, a friendly mammoth, in the animated film, Ice Age: The Meltdown (her first voice appearance in an animated film), and appeared in the drama Stranger Than Fiction.

The summer of 2007 brought Latifah triple success in the big-screen version of the Broadway smash hit Hairspray, in which she acted, sang, and danced. The film rated highly with critics. It starred, among others, John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer, Allison Janney, James Marsden, Christopher Walken, and Zac Efron. Also in 2007, she portrayed an HIV-positive woman in the film Life Support, a role for which she garnered her first Golden Globe Award, Screen Actors Guild Award and an Emmy nomination. For her work, Queen Latifah received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, on January 4, 2006, located at 6915 Hollywood Blvd.

Queen Latifah produced the 2007 film The Perfect Holiday. In addition to producing the film, Latifah starred alongside Terrence Howard, Morris Chestnut, Gabrielle Union, Charles Q. Murphy, Jill Marie Jones, and Faizon Love. In 2008, Latifah appeared in the crime comedy Mad Money opposite Academy Award–winner Diane Keaton as well as Katie Holmes and Ted Danson.

She appeared on Saturday Night Live on October 4, 2008, as moderator Gwen Ifill in a comedic sketch depicting the vice-presidential debate between then-Senator Joe Biden and then-Governor Sarah Palin and played in The Secret Life of Bees. In 2009, Latifah was a presenter at the 81st Academy Awards, presenting the segment honoring film professionals who had died during 2008 and singing "I'll Be Seeing You" during the montage.

Latifah spoke at Michael Jackson's memorial service in Los Angeles. She also hosted the 2010 People's Choice Awards. Latifah sang America the Beautiful at Super Bowl XLIV hosted in Miami, Florida, on February 7, 2010, with Carrie Underwood. Latifah hosted the 2010 BET Awards on June 27, 2010. She starred with Dolly Parton in Joyful Noise (2012). In June 2011, Latifah received an honorary doctorate degree in Humane Letters from Delaware State University in Dover, Delaware.

On September 16, 2013, Latifah premiered her own syndicated daytime television show titled The Queen Latifah Show. On January 26, 2014, Latifah officiated the weddings of 33 same-sex and opposite-sex couples during a performance of "Same Love" by Macklemore at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards. In 2015, Latifah received a Best Actress Emmy nomination for her lead role as Bessie Smith in Bessie, an HBO film which received a total of 12 Emmy nominations.

On April 26, 2017, MTV announced that Latifah will be an executive producer for the third season of the slasher television series Scream. The show will undergo a reboot with a new cast and Brett Matthews serving as show runner. In addition, Matthews, Shakim Compere and Yaneley Arty will also be credited as executive producers for the series under Flavor Unit Entertainment. On June 24, 2019, it was confirmed that the third season is scheduled to premiere over three nights on VH1, starting from July 8, 2019. The third season titled Scream: Resurrection premiered on July 8, 2019.

Latifah played the sea witch Ursula in The Little Mermaid Live!. Although the production itself was not well received, critics widely praised Latifah's performance, with The Hollywood Reporter calling her performance "the best moment of the evening".

CBS has announced a new active TV series, The Equalizer, a reboot the 1980s detective series The Equalizer starring Latifah in the lead role (renamed as Robyn for her version).