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Queen Latifah's mum dies after decade-long heart condition

MOURNING: Queen Latifah and late mother Rita Owens

QUEEN LATIFAH'S mother, Rita Owens, passed away on Wednesday (Mar 21) after struggling with a heart condition for over a decade.

The rapper and actress announced the sad news in a statement, calling her mother "a bright light".

"It is with a heavy heart that I share the news my mother, Rita Owens, passed away today," she told Entertainment Tonight. "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 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."

Latifah - real name Dana Owens - moved in with her mother in New Jersey many years ago and became one of her caregivers. Speaking to People magazine in 2015, she said: "It’s just like being a parent, like some things really don’t matter.

"All the kind of frivolous things sort of fall to the side because there’s something way more important than all that. And when we go through these things together as a family, I realise these are the important things, these are the important moments."

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