Queen Latifah's Mother Rita Owens Passed Away

Queen Latifah's mother, Rita Owens, who died on Wednesday (March 21) evening after suffering from a heart condition for over 10 years. 

The rap icon and actress issued an official statement to PEOPLE about her death. “It is with a heavy heart that I share the news my mother, Rita Owens passed away today,” Latifah said. “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. I am heartbroken but know she is at peace."

Yesterday evening, Latifah also shared a tribute of her mother on Instagram with the caption, "143," which means, "I love you." Take a look at that message below. 

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