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Dana Elaine Owens
Born 18 March 1970, East Orange, New Jersey, USA. Rap's first lady, Queen Latifah, broke through in the late 80s with a style that picked selectively from jazz and soul traditions. The former Burger King employee maintained her early commitment to answer the misognyist armoury of her male counterparts, and at the same time impart musical good times to all genders. After working as the human beatbox alongside famale rapping crew Ladies Fresh, she was just 18 years old when she released her debut single, 'Wrath Of My Madness', in 1988. A year later her debut long-player enjoyed fevered reviews: an old, wise head was evident on the top of her young shoulders Her name means 'delicate and sensitive' in Arabic, but she has often been anything but in her rapping rhythms and the messages she sends out through them. The most prominent female rap artist on the scene for close to a decade, Queen Latifah has also made tremendous inroads in both movies and television. A role model who takes the responsibility to heart, Latifah carefully constructed a fine career for herself - one which is constantly moving upward. The lady behind the moniker is Dana Owens. Owens was born on March 18th, 1970 in Newark, New Jersey. She comes from a police family (both her father and older brother were cops), which would later influence her rapping style and life philosophy. Owens witnessed both sides of black urban life growing up. After a brief stint as a Burger King employee, the young 18 year-old soon found herself making waves in the rap music scene.