Steel Magnolias

As we continue celebrating Women’s History Month, who better to tribute on their birthday than the one and only Queen Latifah.

Turning 43 years old today, the rapper, actress, singer, songwriter, model, comedienne, producer, philanthropist and upcoming talk show host may not have been born into royalty but she’s lived up to her regal title since bursting on to the scene with “Wrath Of My Madness,” her debut single, in 1988. Her work in music, film, and television has earned her a Golden Globe award, two Screen Actors Guild awards, two Image Awards, a Grammy award, six additional Grammy nominations, an Emmy award nomination and an Academy Award nomination.

We love Queen Latifah because she’s as versatile as she is authentic. Who else is as comfortable playing a tough bank robber in Set It Off as she is a dying woman in Last Holiday? A corrupt matron named “Mama Morton” in a classic musical like Chicago and then a revered music maven trying to bridge the racial gap in the 1960s in Hairspray? And that’s just a portion of her on-screen work. How about the fact Latifah started her musical career as a beatboxer who transitioned into one of the most loved female rappers of all time and then shifted to singing soul music and jazz standards, with critically-acclaimed albums and more? Throw in the mix her television career to date (most notably, much-loved sitcom Living Single), hosting duties, endorsement deals with CoverGirl cosmetics, Curvation ladies underwear, Pizza Hut and Jenny Craig plus a signature perfume and there’s no wonder the woman born Dana Elaine Owens in Newark, New Jersey is an inspiration to millions of women worldwide.

I took on the moniker “Boss Lady” back in 2003 when I founded Australia and New Zealand’s most successful hip-hop and R&B publication, Urban Hitz. I wanted a powerful alias, one I’d have to live up to throughout my career and Queen Latifah inspired this concept. I grew up admiring her enviable ability to stay genuine from her early hip-hop days to Hollywood and beyond. She took her adopted name so seriously and I wanted (and still want) to do just the same.

Forever the classy, dedicated and fearless career woman, Latifah is about to try her hand at the talk show game again (The Queen Latifah Show ran from 1999-2001). She’ll be launching her new show with the same name on Monday, September 16 later this year and I’ll definitely be tuned in to support.

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