Queen Latifah reveals her mother has died

Queen Latifah announced on Thursday, March 22, 2018 that her mother, Rita Owens, has died. The actress released a statement stating her mother passed away Wednesday after a longtime battle with heart disease. Credit: American Heart Association/YouTube

Queen Latifah announced on Thursday that her mother, Rita Owens, has died.

The actress released a statement stating her mother passed away Wednesday after a longtime battle with heart disease.

“It is with a heavy heart that I share the news my mother, Rita Owens passed away today,” Latifah said in a statement to People. “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.”

The statement continued: “She had struggled with a heart condition for many years and her battle is now over. I am heartbroken but know she is at peace. Thank you for your kindness, support and respect for our privacy at this time. Much Love, Dana Owens (aka Queen Latif‎ah), forever Rita Owens’ daughter.”

Latifah has been open about her mother’s struggle in interviews and on social media.

On Tuesday, she asked followers on Instagram to “send prayers” for her mother’s “speedy recovery.”

The mother-daughter duo filmed a spot for the American Heart Association last year, in which Latifah said her mother’s strength after her diagnosis inspired her.

CNN has reached out to Latifah’s representative for comment.