The Real Meaning Of Queen Latifah's Stage Name

A lot of celebrities have interesting stories behind their stage names, including artist-turned-actress Queen Latifah.

According to Cheat Sheet, Latifah, born as Dana Elaine Owens, first entered the Hollywood scene as a beatboxer in the '80s. She changed the rap scene, being one of the first few women — plus-sized women, at that — to make it. And, that she did all of that by simply loving herself. 

"I think I got to that place by not being happy with the other side — hating your body and criticizing yourself all the time," Queen Latifah told Good Housekeeping of accepting herself the way she was. "When I was around 18, I looked in the mirror and said, 'You're either going to love yourself or hate yourself.' And I decided to love myself. That changed a lot of things." Including what she called herself.

Discover the meaning behind Queen Latifah's stage name below.

Some of Queen Latifah's family members did not like her stage name

It was from the idea that all women are queens that Queen Latifah decided to use "queen" as part of her stage name. Good Housekeeping reported that "Latifah" was bestowed upon her by a cousin, though People claims that the rapper-turned-actress picked it out of a book at age 8. The word means "delicate, sensitive, kind, nice," the rapper-turned-actress told "The Rachael Ray Show."

According to People, Queen Latifah loved her stage name, as it represents the duality of being a woman: "That's the story of my life," she said. "I think that's the wonderful thing about a woman. We can be strong but then we can be soft and kind and sensitive."

Though most of us love and even admire Queen Latifah for her stage name, not everyone's a fan, including her late mother Rita Owens, who didn't exactly like her daughter's chosen performing name. "My mother kinda laughed. She was like, 'Queen? I ain't calling you Queen,'" Latifah said, per People. Though she may not have been the most supportive of the name itself, Queen Latifah's mother supported her dreams and encouraged her to take risks, Latifah revealed to Good Housekeeping.