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I am completely heartbroken as I report Queen Latifah‘s mother, Rita Owens, has died after battling a heart condition for over a decade.

Latifah released the following statement regarding her mother’s passing:

It is with a heavy heart that I share the news my mother, Rita Owens passed away today. 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.

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.

I extend my deepest condolences and prayers to Queen Latifah and the Owens family during this difficult time.