Queen Latifah’s mom, Rita Owens, died Wednesday after a 10-year battle with heart disease.

The legendary rapper and actress shared the news in an exclusive statement to PEOPLE. See her statement below:


“It is with a heavy heart that I share the news my mother, Rita Owens passed away today,” says 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, worldy 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,” Latifah shares. “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.”

Our hearts go out to Queen Latifah and her family during this difficult time.

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