Six-time Grammy Award nominee Queen Latifah first became known as the unofficial “Queen of Rap,” recording a series of hit albums, later segueing into singing hip hop, soul and jazz.
Latifah’s acting career, launched around the same time as her earlier musical successes, found her appearing on TV (the sitcom “Living Single”) and in various film roles (“Set It Off”) until hitting her stride in 2002’s big screen musical version of “Chicago.” Playing opportunistic jail matron Mama Morton earned Latifah nominations for a supporting actress Oscar and a Golden Globe award.
The commanding singer-actress took on subsequent roles in such film comedies as “Bringing Down the House,” “Beauty Shop,” “Last Holiday,” “Mad Money” and “Valentine’s Day.” She also played big-hearted Motormouth Maybelle in the feature adaptation of the musical “Hairspray” and voiced woolly mammoth Ellie in the “Ice Age” animated movie series.
Latifah (which in Arabic means “friendly” or “gentle”) also showed her dramatic side as an HIV-positive mother in the 2007 HBO telefilm “Life Support,” earning her Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild awards along with an Emmy nomination.
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