Ladies First: Queen Latifah Blazes The Trail For All Women

Over the past 20 years, Dana Owens, better known as “Queen Latifah” has been steadily building a media and entertainment empire that can rival anyone in Hollywood now.

As soon as Queen Latifah began making money with her music she made a wise decision and started investing it instead of blowing it all away like many do. Her first investment was in a delicatessen and a video store on the ground floor of the apartment she was living in at the time.

A few years later 21 year old Queen Latifah made yet another very wise move and started up her own company called Flavor Unit Records and Management Company. Not only did she begin managing her self but within 2 years she had signed over 17 rap groups which included the very successful Naughty by Nature which she also has been credited for naming. Her company would also go on to manage groups such as Outkast for period of time and The Almighty RSO which included the former co-owner of The Source magazine, Benzino.

In 2003 Queen Latifah decided to refocus her company primarily on movies and TV shows which lead her to launch Flavor Unit Entertainment along with her first film Bringing Down The House which stared herself & Steve Martin. It managed to bring in over $130 million dollars.

Here are just some of her stats:
Associate producer, writer, actor – Girls Trip (movie)
Producer, writer, actor – Bringing Down The House (movie)
Writer, producer, actor – Living Single (TV Show)
Producer – VH! hit series, Single Ladies (TV show)
Producer – BET’s Let’s Stay Together (TV show)
Part Owner – New York Spring Water
Producer, actor – HBO Emmy-winning movie Bessie
Producer – The Cookout (movie)
Producer, writer, actor – Just Wright (movie)
Producer – Joyful Noise (movie)
Producer – Life Support (movie)
Producer – Steel Magnolias (movie)

Last year in July 2016, the former MC was honored at the VH1 Hip-Hop Honors celebration honoring the queens of hip hop. Queen began the performance with a slightly-tweaked version of Chicago’s “When You’re Good to Mama.” (If you forget, Queen Latifah was nominated for an Oscar for playing Mama Morton in the 2002 adaptation of the musical.) She went right into “Come Into My House,” an epic cut from her debut album All Hail the Queen (1989).

And then Queen Latifah brought in her girls: Rah Digga, The Lady of Rage, Da Brat and YoYo joined Queen Latifah on stage for “Had It Up 2 Here.”

The tribute ended with (of course) Queen Latifah’s hit song “Ladies First.” Monie Love and Queen Latifah brought the house down.

In fact, Queen Latifah was not only honored at the Hip Hop Honors, she was also executive producer of the star-studded show. She has been producer or executive producer for a number of projects including, the VH1 Show, “Single Ladies”, The BET show “Let’s Stay Together”, and the movies, Bringing Down The House, The Last Holiday, The Perfect Holiday, Beauty Show, Just Wright, The Perfect Match and countless others.

Queen Latifah also represents a line of cosmetics for CoverGirl called the Queen Collection. She has also launched a perfume line Queen” and Queen of Hearts.

Because of her brand, Queen is the spokesperson for Curvation ladies underwear, Pizza Hut and Jenny Craig.

On top of all that Queen Latifah is taking care of her mother who has an autoimmune disease and heart issues.

To put it bluntly, Queen Latifah is quietly building a kingdom, or “queen-dom” you might say.

And not one to stop there, according to The Hollywood Reporter, in February 2016, Queen along with other heavyweights, created We Do It Together (WDIT). It’s aim is to empower women in film, TV, and other forms of media by working with both male and female directors, actors, and producers.

The non-profit company hopes to team up with outside voices to create a new series of gender-led films and ensure more opportunities for established and upcoming female talents.

In an interview on CNN Money, Queen outlined three steps that she applies to all her business ventures:

1. Define yourself and set the tone for how you want others to embrace you.
“I didn’t want to be emcee Latifah or, you know, all these different monikers that you could have put on, but I…