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Queen Latifah Opens Up About Day Her Brother Died — And How She Came Close

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How Did Queen Latifah's Brother Die? New Details On How His Death Changed Her And How She Almost Died Too

On Thursday, October 3, Queen Latifah opened up about the unexpected loss of her brother Lancelot Owens in an interview with Angie Martinez for WE TV‘s series Untold Stories of Hip Hop. 

He brother passed away in 1992 after a tragic motorcycle collision. Queen Latifah has kept her brother’s death private since the accident in 1992, but spoke about him In the WE TV interview. She shared that after her brother’s death, she quit music for a while and planned to end her career. However, with the help and support of her peers, she returned to the spotlight. “It was [rapper] Heavy D … Heav had lost a brother,” she said. “To just know people are there when you need them. You have to grieve in your own way, and I put my emotions into the music, which is my safe place, my home.”

The loss of her brother has weighed heavy on her over the years and she shared that she hasn’t been the same ever since the accident.

Here is what we know so far from the interview. How did Queen Latifah's brother die?

1. She was supposed to be on the motorcycle with him.

Queen Latifah revealed in the interview that she was supposed to also be on the motorcycle with her brother but shared that she wasn’t because “one of our friends had to move, so we were moving all day. After my brother passed away, that ruined my world, rocked me to my core. I’ve never been the same since.”

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2. Latifah bought a new house for her and her family to live weeks before the accident.

As a means of being closer to her family after not seeing them from being on the road so much, Queen Latifah bought a house for her and her family to live together. In the interview, she shared, “We bought this big, ridiculous Jacuzzi and [my brother] sat in it fully dressed and it was like ‘Yo, this is gon’ be fun,’” she recalled.

3. Latifah bought the motorcycle for her brother.

According to Radar Online, Queen Latifah bought the motorcycle for her brother just two months before the accident. The two took their last ride together just three days before his accident. After his crash, she shared, “I felt guilty. I was angry at God,” Latifah said.

4. She still wore the key to the motorcycle around her neck.

A 2006 interview for Inside the Actor's Studio revealed that Latifah still wore the key to the motorcycle around her neck. The necklace was visible to viewers when she was on the sitcom Living Single.

5. She dedicated her album 'Black Reign' to her brother.

In an article by Soul Bounce, Queen Latifah revealed that her third album, Black Reign, was dedicated to her brother. The article acknowledges the clear, distinct shift in Queen Latifah’s persona, which was more subdued than her upbeat persona. It was clear through the songs in this album that she was keeping her brother in mind through her emotion.

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6. She lost her mother last year.

“It is with a heavy heart that I share the news my mother, Rita Owens, passed away today,” the actress announced in a statement to People Magazine. “Anyone that has ever met her knows what a bright light she was on this earth. She was gentle, but strong, sweet, but sassy, worldly 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. 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.”

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Elizabeth Ward is a writing student finishing her bachelor’s at the University of Louisville. She covers news, entertainment, relationships and everything in between.