In March 2018, actress, singer and emcee, Dana Owens, better known as Queen Latifah, lost the love of her life, her mother Rita Owens.
The two, who famously walked red carpets together and once acted alongside each other on the hit series Living Single, had a solid mother-daughter bond.
In the months since her mom’s passing, the New Jersey native has tried her best to remain strong and hold on to the memories that they shared together. But at ESSENCE Fest 2018, Queen had to take a moment to pause and reflect and be comforted by her sister-friends. She shared just how important it was to have a mother who not only believed in her dreams but continuously encouraged her to do anything she wanted.
During an appearance on the ESSENCE Empowerment Stage, while wiping away tears, Queen told the audience, "I was scared to come here because of that."
She continued, "The person who has held me to that standard is my mother, for my entire life, the person who showed me what being a woman is all about, who lifted me up, who encouraged me, who believed in me," said the Girls Trip star while on a panel with New York rapper Remy Ma, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, and Planned Parenthood's Director of Public Engagement, Alecia Johnson. They shared a refreshing conversation moderated by prominent political commentator and activist, Angela Rye. "I lost my mother a few months ago so I’m sorry to those who don’t know why I’m sitting here crying. "
Queen Latifah was by her mother's side in March when she lost her battle with heart disease. In a statement at the time of her mother's passing, the 48-year-old spoke highly of her mom, calling her "the love of her life."