(AllHipHop News) Queen Latifah has notified the world that her beloved mother Rita Owens has died.
“It is with a heavy heart that I share the news my mother, Rita Owens, passed away today. Anyone that has ever met her know what a bright light she was on earth. She was gentle, but strong, sweet, but sassy, worldly, but pragmatic, a woman of great faith and certainly the love of my life," Latifah revealed.
Ms. Owens had a prolonged heart condition that was well publicized. Latifah continued, “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.”
In 2004, Ms. Owens found out she had heart failure after she passed out at work and was rushed to the hospital. She and Latifah actively promoted the ailment with the American Heart Association, because it is the lead killer of women. Black women are disproportionately affected by heart failure.
Owens was a strong presence in Hip-Hop and and the condolences rolled in from Latifah's peers.
Rapper-turned-media maven Monie Love said the following.
"WHAT a WONDEFULY DELIGHTFUL woman is Ms Rita Owens. Patient & Kind, full of food for thought advice, insightful & honest, realistic yet soothing. Upon arriving in the US at 17yrs old and spending much time with my new bestie at that time Dana , I felt like a teenager in one of those 'American movies about teenagers in high school' I used to watch on tv in England, when Dana would take her mom's red Toyota Celica and say c'mon Mo lets go for a ride. I swore whenever I got an American drivers license I wanted to get a red Toyota Celica just like Ms Ritas. Rest peacefully Ms Rita."