Rita Owens mother of Hip-hop legend Queen Latifah has passed away yesterday (March 21) due to a long bout with a heart condition. Owens, has been a very visible force in the Emmy winner’s life.
Latifah issued an official statement to PEOPLE about her death. “It is with a heavy heart that I share the news my mother, Rita Owens passed away today,” Latifah said. “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 continued: “She had struggled with a heart condition for many years and her battle is now over. I am heartbroken but know she is at peace. 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.”
Latifah posted a tribute to her mother on Instagram, which read “143,” which means, “I love you.”