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The rapper-actress also revealed that her mom struggled with a heart condition for more than 10 years before she died.
Latifah issued an exclusive statement to People Wednesday to confirm the death of her mother.
It didn't feel like a typical celebrity interview because we discussed something important we have in common: We are both caregiving daughters.
Our mothers live or have lived with heart failure — mine for 24 years until she passed away from other causes, and Latifah's mom, Rita Owens, having the chronic condition for many years.
“It is with a heavy heart that I share the news my mother, Rita Owens passed away today,” she said.
“Anyone that has ever met her knows what a bright light she was on this earth. a woman of great faith and certainly the love of my life.”Latifah went on to say that her mother’s battle with her heart condition has now ended.
Owens was diagnosed with heart failure way back in 2004.
As she puts it, "I just start the day with mom and how's she doing: 'Do you need anything? ' " She also leads a team of family members, close friends and health care providers who support her mom — a role that's earned her the title "the general." She finds the label amusing, she says, because she's not usually the commanding type: "I'm not tough in that sense, but you do have to become stronger." Latifah's eyes sparkle, and she gets emotional when she talks about her mom.
Though she’s heartbroken by Owens’ passing, Latifah knows that her mother is now at peace.
The 48-year-old Hollywood celebrity then thanked her fans for their support and their respect for her privacy at this difficult time.
Owen had been battling heart disease for over a decade.
Latifah announced the tragic news in a statement to Anyone that has ever met her know what a bright light she was on this earth.
She really just gives me hope for life and the world,” Latifah previously said of Owens. She used to live in Wayne and co-owned Mangos soul food and Caribbean restaurant on Main Street in Hackensack.