Queen Latifah’s mother, Rita Owens, passed away on Wednesday after a long battle with a heart condition.
In a statement to People, Latifah said that she was “heartbroken” over the loss of best friend and love of her life. “It is with a heavy heart that I share the news my mother, Rita Owens passed away today,” she said.
Latifah explained, “Anyone that has ever met her knows what a bright light she was on this earth. She was gentle, but strong, sweet, but sassy, worldy but pragmatic, a woman of great faith and certainly the love of my life.”
“She had struggled with a heart condition for many years and her battle is now over,” Latifah shared. “I am heartbroken but know she is at peace. Thank you for your kindness, support and respect for our privacy at this time. Much Love, Dana Owens (aka Queen Latifah), forever Rita Owens’ daughter.”
Celebrities and industry friends of Latifah’s are taking to social media to send their love and condolences, including MC Lyte who wrote: “Umi we love you forever and ever and ever and ever. Beautiful Ray of life…. God blessed us and then called for his Angel.”
Monica Brown wrote: “The bond between a mother and her only daughter is indescribably beautiful !! Dana I love you & we’re praying for you !! Ms. Rita treated each of us like her own. She gave the most genuine hugs and pleasant smiles.. Her support for all things Queen was relentless! She will FOREVER be with you!! Rest Well Ms. Rita.”
Heart failure is a chronic, progressive disease in which the heart is unable to supply and pump blood efficiently to other ortolans. Over the years, Latifah has been very open about her mother’s illness and even strived to raise awareness for heart failure.
On Wednesday, the Girls Trip star shared a touching visual of her mother with the caption, 143, which means “I love you.”
The death of Latifah’s mother comes just days after the star celebrated her 48th birthday.
Our thoughts are with the Queen and her family.