Sad news for Queen Latifah. The veteran rapper's mother, Rita Owens, died on Wednesday (March 21) after struggling with a heart condition for more than 10 years.

Latifah broke the news in a statement given to People, saying, "It is with a heavy heart that I share the news my mother, Rita Owens passed away today. 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,” the "All Hail the Queen" rapper continued. “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.”

A former art teacher in the same Irvington, N.J. high school Queen Latifah attended, Owens opened up about her diagnosis in a 2015 interview with People. “I found myself becoming a recluse,” Owens said. “You have to understand your body is not processing the same way it was before. I started counting the things I can’t do instead of the things I can do. And I said, ‘Nope, this is not acceptable.’”

Following the news of Owens' death, Missy Elliott sent her condolences on Twitter, reminiscing about her first time meeting the rapper's mother. "My condolences to my sis @IAMQUEENLATIFAH I know how close you & Mama Owens were we always talked about our moms & my 1st time meeting her she treated me like family," she wrote.

Latifah also shared a photo of her mother on Instagram, writing "143" in the caption. The numbers represent the phrase, "I love you."

Check out Missy Elliot and Queen Latifiah's social media posts below.

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