Queen Latifah’s mother Rita Owens passed away on Wednesday (March 21) after a long battle with a heart condition.
Latifah (real name Dana Owens) told People she is “heartbroken” by the loss but knows her mom is now “at peace.”
“It is with a heavy heart that I share the news my mother, Rita Owens passed away today,” says Latifah in a statement. “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.”
Rita struggled with heart failure, a chronic, progressive disease in which the heart is unable to supply adequate blood flow to other organs. She was diagnosed with the condition in 2004 after passing out at work and being rushed to the hospital.
The rapper and actor opened up on her mom’s illness in an inspirational Mother’s Day video for the American Heart Association back in 2016.
Owens was often spotted at her daughter’s side and she appeared in Living Single, playing the role of mother to Latifah’s character.