Queen Latifah is mourning the loss the of her beloved mum, Rita Owens, who passed away on Wednesday (21Mar18) after struggling with a heart condition for over a decade.

The rapper and actress announced the sad news in a statement, calling her mother "a bright light".

"It is with a heavy heart that I share the news my mother, Rita Owens, passed away today," she told Entertainment Tonight. "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," she continued. "I am heartbroken but know she is at peace. Thank you for your kindness, support and respect for our privacy at this time."

The Girls Trip star asked fans to pray for her mother as recently as Monday, writing on Instagram: "Words can’t to the express (sic) on the gratitude that I feel for the love and well wishes from friends family and all of you out there who just got love for the Queen! But just know in the words of my brother Tupac, You are appreciated! Also please continue to send prayers up to my mom's speedy recovery! GOD CAN!!"

Latifah, real name Dana Owens, moved in with her mum in New Jersey many years ago and became one of her caregivers, telling People magazine in 2015, "It’s just like being a parent, like some things really don’t matter. All the kind of frivolous things sort of fall to the side because there’s something way more important than all that. And when we go through these things together as a family, I realise these are the important things, these are the important moments."

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