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Queen Latifah’s mother, Rita Owens, passed away on Wednesday after struggling with a heart condition for more than a decade, she announced in an exclusive statement to PEOPLE.

“It is with a heavy heart that I share the news my mother, Rita Owens passed away today,” says Latifah. “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.”

“She had struggled with a heart condition for many years and her battle is now over,” Latifah shares. “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.”

Late Wednesday night, Latifah shared a video of a photograph of her mother with the caption, “143,” which means “I love you.”

143

A post shared by Queen Latifah (@queenlatifah) on

Our condolences on her lost.

 

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