Queen Latifah first hip-hop artist to get
Walk of Fame star


Associated Press

LOS ANGELES - Rapper turned actress, singer, spokeswoman and producer
Queen Latifah on Wednesday became the first hip-hop artist crowned with
a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

"I think the reason I am here is to inspire African-American women who
are rappers, full-figured women to know that they can do it too,"
Latifah, 35, said at the unveiling of the sidewalk's 2,298th star.

Family and friends, including actor Terrence Howard, cheered Latifah
on.

"Who would have known that in the '70s, when a pink 8-pound baby girl
was born, this is where she would be today. She came out screaming,
'Look out world, here I come,'" her mother Rita Owens said.

Honorary Mayor of Hollywood Johnny Grant sent his regards from
Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where he was delayed after entertaining American
troops.

Born Dana Owens, Queen Latifah debuted in 1989 with seminal hip-hop
album "All Hail the Queen." Her third album "Black Reign" earned her a
Grammy award in 1994.

Latifah's leap to television in 1993 with the sitcom "Living Single"
widened her appeal. She went on to star in such films as "Set It Off,"
"Bringing Down the House" and 2005's "Beauty Shop," which she also
produced.

But it was the New Jersey native's stint as soulful prison matron Mama
Morton in 2002's "Chicago" that earned her a supporting actress Oscar
nomination and brought her singing acclaim.

Her latest release "The Dana Owens Album," a jazzy collection of blues,
pop and soul classics, garnered her a Grammy nod last year.

Latifah is also a spokeswoman for CoverGirl and its record label CG
Vibes, among other companies.

She co-chairs the Lancelot H. Owens Scholarship Foundation, named for
her older brother who was killed while riding a motorcycle she bought
for him.

Latifah plays a woman with a terminal illness in the upcoming film
"Last Holiday."