Queen "Dana Owens" Latifah has had the career that the grandest of dreams are made of. For over 20 years, she has consistently conquered music, television and film. She got her start in the early days of hip-hop, becoming a pioneer for female rappers. With songs like 1990's "Ladies First," and 1993's "U.N.I.T.Y.," the Newark, New Jersey, native always managed to deliver an empowering message with clever rhymes and danceable beats.
By 1991, Latifah ventured into film with roles in "House Party 2" and Spike Lee's classic, "Jungle Fever". She also landed a hit television show playing Khadijah James on "Living Single", which ran from 1993 to 1998.
Latifah dominated the ‘90s with critically acclaimed performances in 1996's "Set It Off" and 1998's "Living Out Loud". It was in 2002 that she became an international sensation with her Oscar-nominated role as Matron Mama Morton in the 2002 musical, "Chicago".
True to the entrepreneurial spirit honed in her hip-hop days, Latifah continued to rule on the big screen but also began producing her own film projects. She starred in and produced 2005's "Beauty Shop"; 2007’s "Life Support", which won her a Golden Globe for her dynamic performance as an HIV-positive woman; and most recently, "Just Wright", playing opposite Common.
Plus, Latifah is a celebrity spokesperson for the legendary CoverGirl, joining the ranks of Drew Barrymore, Ellen DeGeneres and Rihanna. She has the CoverGirl Queen Collection, a cosmetic line for women of color.
‘Queen L-A-T-I-F-A-H in command’ is a Grammy, NAACP Image and Screen Actors Guild Award winner, BET Honors '10 honoree and now the host of the 2010 BET Awards. This year, the Queen will rock the stage of the most exciting awards show of the year, bringing her signature talent, grace and style – maybe she’ll even spit a few rhymes!
The 2010 BET Awards airs live Sunday, June 27.