- (photo:Reuters/Gus Ruelas)
Dana Elaine Owens, better known as "Queen Latifah," says she once relied on alcohol to cope with the tragedies in her life, but it was her faith in God that ultimately helped her through feelings of anger and sadness.
In an interview with Good Housekeeping magazine, the rapper turned actress shared how her "life was rocked to the core" when her brother, a police officer, was killed in a motorcycle accident not long after her career had taken off. Owens, who was raised Baptist, says her faith was particularly impacted by the loss.
"And I felt guilty," she told the magazine, "because I was angry at God."
After her brother's death, Owens invested herself in her work. She was dealt another emotional blow in 1995, however, when she became the victim of a carjacking and a close friend, who was with her in the car at the time, was shot and nearly died in front of her.
She turned to alcohol for relief. In 1996, she was also arrested after being caught with marijuana and a handgun, which she had kept with her since the carjacking, in her vehicle. She later went through therapy, where she confronted the long-held secret that she had been molested by a babysitter when she was just five years old.
The support of family and friends helped her through her trials, though it was ultimately faith that brought her through her grief.
"I realized that [anger] wasn't helping me or my brother," she said. "I learned that God was going to provide comfort; I know He is always listening and guiding."
Owens says she believes God told her that she would make it through her struggles.
"Nobody is perfect. I know that I'm not a saint, but God's love is there for me," said Owens. "I know that I need help to make it through every day, so I pray to God to help me do the best I can, to lift me up when I am tired and help me develop into the person He wants me to be … I am always surrounded by His love, and He is always there."
Queen Latifah, now 43, was only 19 years old when her debut hip-hop album, All Hail the Queen, was released, according to her website. She is a best-selling author, co-founder of Flavor Unit Entertainment and a CoverGirl spokesperson. She also has her own talk show, has appeared in nearly 40 feature films and has received two Screen Actors Guild Awards, two Image Awards, a Golden Globe Award, and a Grammy Award.