Queen Latifah is mourning the loss of her mother, Rita Owens.
The actress confirmed the news Wednesday, revealing Owens passed away after a long battle with a heart condition.
In a statement to ESSENCE, Latifah—born Dana Owens—reflected on the loss and called her mother, an educator and an art teacher, “the love of [her] life.”
“It is with a heavy heart that I share the news my mother, Rita Owens passed away today,” wrote Latifah. “Anyone that has ever met her knows what a bright light she was on this earth. She was gentle, but strong, sweet, but sassy, worldly 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 heart broken but know she is at peace,” she continued.
“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.”
In 2016, Owens and Latifah co-starred in a PSA for the American Heart Association. Read more