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Actress and rapper Dana Owens, best known as Queen Latifah, was present at the Essence Festival this year, and she shared a heartfelt tribute to her mother.

As Essence reported, Latifah made an appearance on the Essence Empowerment Stage next to a couple of celebrities.

Once there, she was asked to name some of the ‘sisters’ in her life who helped her throughout her career and who made sure that she was living her best life and being her best self.

Before Latifah started talking, tears started coming out, and the actress had to take almost a minute to calm down and reply to that question. While she was crying, the audience did nothing but support and cheer her up.

After clearing her throat, Latifah said that she was afraid of coming to the festival because she knew she could cry. Later, she pointed out that the person who has held her to that level was her mother, Rita Owens.

Latifah continued saying that Rita was ‘the person who showed me what being a woman is all about, who lifted me up, who encouraged me, who believed in me.’ After that, she made sure that everyone in the audience knew why she was crying by saying that she had lost her mother a couple of months ago.

Essence added that Latifah was by her mother’s side when she passed away. The actress would later release a statement in which she revealed that Rita was ‘the love of her life.’

As People reported, Rita passed away on March 21, 2018, after dealing with a heart condition known as Congestive Heart Failure for more than a decade. She was 69 years old.

According to MedicineNet, Congestive Heart Failure is a condition in which the heart’s function as a pump is inadequate to meet the body’s need.

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