All Hail the Queen! Today, rapper-turned-actress, Queen Latifah, celebrates her 44th birthday. The New Jersey native—born Dana Owens—who adopted the royal moniker to advance her hip-hop career in the ’90s, eventually transitioned to TV and film, starring on the hit sitcom, Living Single, and the movies, Bringing Down the House, Last Holiday, Hairspray, and Joyful Noise. Most recently, the star officiated the marriage of 33 gay and straight couples at this year’s Grammys.
Although her career is cemented in the entertainment industry, Queen Latifah has been making major moves in the style and beauty realms for years by launching a HSN line, creating her own cosmetics line for CoverGirl, and fronting Pantene’s new collection for natural curls.
“My look is influenced by what I am doing at the time,” she told InStyle previously. “The hip-hop world taught me to put my own spin on things, but now I am more polished.”