THE KING OF ALL MEDIA MEETS QUEEN LATIFAH
Queen Latifah – star of hip hop, TV and films, and also one of Ray Stern's favorite entertainers- stopped by this morning to talk to Howard about her talk show, her childhood and her unique career in entertainment.
Check out some highlights from the Queen's interview with King of All Media:
A NOT SO ROYAL CHILDHOOD
* First off, Howard learned that Queen Latifah isn't her birth name. Dana Owens adopted the name when she got into rap. The Arabic name Latifah means delicate, sensitive and nice - and she chose Queen because she didn't want to go by "MC Latifah".
* Latifah grew up in Newark, New Jersey. Her dad was a bad ass – a Vietnam vet, who went right into the Newark Police Department and the Black Panthers. Her dad was involved in a lot of shootings when he was a cop – and back then, she said, they wouldn't even take you off duty after a shooting.
Queen didn't understand her dad when she was younger. They'd go to Central Park but, "instead of seeing the great lawn, [her dad] saw the Viet Cong."
* Childhood took a rough turn when she was molested by a male who was in charge of watching her when she was five years old. Latifah doesn't know if the guy is even still alive. She didn't tell her father because she was quite sure her dad would've killed him.
* As a teenager, Latifah sold drugs and briefly toyed with the idea of prostitution, just to get some Walking Around Money. She came close to having sex with a guy for $50, but didn't go through with it. The consequences weren't worth the money.
THE QUEEN AND THE PRINCE
* Queen Latifah got a recording contract when she was seventeen. One of her friends loaned her his rent money so she could get studio time.
* She and Will Smith sort of "grew up" touring together and Will put her on TV for the time, in a recurring role in his sitcom the Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Will and his wife Jada Pinket Smith are now the producers of The Queen Latifah Show.
* When she started making money, she'd give 2/3 to her mom, one third for taxes, one third for family expenses. She'd "blow" the other third on her company and career, managing artists like Naughty by Nature and, later, Outkast.
* Latifah had a talk show in the late 90s and early 2000s and though it was doing fairly well, she walked away after three seasons. She decided that she wanted to make a career for herself in films and couldn't devote her time to both. She was cast in the Best Picture winner "Chicago," for which she was nominated as Best Supporting Actress.
WE DON'T NEED TO KNOW SH*T
Howard had to ask Latifah about the media curiosity surrounding her person life. She's been called lesbian, straight, and bi-sexual. "I don't have to share what's going on in my bedroom," she said. " It's not anybody's business but mine." Howard imagined that if Latifah were with a woman, she'd be fine as hell. Latifah promised: "She would be fine. I have good taste." The bottom line was those that need to know what's happening in her personal life, know. Howard protested that he needed to know. "You don't need to know shit."
Finally, Howard wanted to chastise the Queen for getting a breast reduction. Latifah said she had back problems, and she misses her full-size breasts, but she's pain-free. Anyway, she's still a Double-D.
Check out the Queen Latifah Show