Queen Latifah

MINI BIO

Date of Birth: March 18th 1970

In the early days of her career, she was one of the members of the original version of the Flavor Unit, which, at that time, was a crew of emcees grouped around producer DJ Mark the 45 King. She was also a member of the Nation of Gods and Earths, a Faradian Islamic sect. After becoming successful, DJ Mark the 45 King began to abuse drugs, and Latifah took over the crew, forming it into her management company with the help of Jake Abrams.

Latifah started her career beatboxing for the rap group Ladies Fresh. In 1988, local DJ Mark the 45 King heard a demo version of Latifah's single "Princess of the Posse" and gave the demo to Fab Five Freddy, who was the host of Yo! MTV Raps. Freddy helped Latifah sign with Tommy Boy Records, which released Latifah's first album All Hail the Queen in 1989, when she was 19. In that same year, she also appeared as Referee on the UK label Music of Life album "1989—The Hustlers Convention (live)." Her debut managed to be both a critical and a commercial success and was followed by the albums Nature of a Sista and Black Reign, which contained the Grammy Award winning hit single, U.N.I.T.Y. In 1998, she released her fourth hip-hop album Order in the Court. In 2004 she released the soul/jazz standards The Dana Owens Album.

On July 11, 2007, Latifah made her singing debut at the famed Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles as the headliner act in a live jazz concert. Before an enthusiastic crowd of more than 12,400, she was backed by a 10-piece live orchestra and three backup vocalists, aka The Queen Latifah Orchestra. In the concert, Latifah performed new arrangements of standards including California Dreaming, first made popular by '60s icons The Mama's and The Papa's.

From 1993 to 1998, Latifah had a starring role on Living Single, a FOX sitcom; she also wrote and performed its theme music. She began her film career in a supporting role in the 1991 films House Party 2, Juice, and Jungle Fever.

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