NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 05: Queen Latifah attends Variety's 2022 Power Of Women at The Glasshouse on May 05, 2022 in New York City.

Queen Latifah’s decades-long career is quite remarkable. The New Jersey native began as a rapper and successfully pivoted into film and television where another generation was able to experience her talent. She has won a Grammy, an Emmy, and has been nominated for an Academy Award. She actually was the first hip-hop recording artist ever to be nominated for an Oscar. Take a look below at 10 of her best performances ranked:

  • 11. Star (2016-2019)

    Star was a musical drama on FOX that was created by Lee Daniels and Tom Donaghy. Queen Latifah played Carlotta Brown who helped Star Davis (Jude Demorest), Alexandra Crane (Ryan Destiny), Simone Davis (Brittany O’Grady) build them into a strong musical group but even better women. The series ran from 2016-2019.

  • 10. Steel Magnolias (2012)

    Queen Latifah starred alongside Phylicia Rashad, Alfre Woodard, Condola Rashad, Jill Scott, and Adepero Oduye for this 2012 adaptation of Steel Magnolias. Queen Latifah was nominated for a NAACP Award for her performance as M’Lynn. The film is a contemporary re-imagined version of the classic film of the same name which was released in 1989. Steel Magnolias tells the story of where six southern women band together to support one another through the trials and tribulations of life. The primary setting of the film is a beauty salon.

  • 9. Just Wright (2010)

    Queen Latifah starred alongside Common in the 2010 romantic comedy Just Wright. In this film, Queen Latifah played a physical therapist that nurses Common back to health after a basketball injury. Both Queen Latifah and Common were nominated for NAACP Awards in the Outstanding Actress Actress In A Motion Picture and Outstanding Actor In A Motion Picture, categories respectively. The film also got a nod in the Outstanding Motion Picture category for the NAACP Awards.

  • 8. Last Holiday (2006)

    Queen Latifah stars alongside LL Cool J in the 2006 romantic comedy Last Holiday. After Queen Latifah’s character Georgia Byrd finds out that she has a terminal illness she is set out to accomplish everything she has been holding back on…including finding love. Queen Latifah and LL Cool J’s chemistry is undeniable in this film. Maybe it has something to do with them being dope MC’s?

  • 7. Beauty Shop (2005)

    Beauty Shop is a classic comedy because and many of the laughs come from the Queen. Queen Latifah played Gina Norris who fulfills her dream of owning her own beauty shop while her former boss (played by Kevin Bacon) makes it harder for the new Atlanta resident to succeed. She also starred alongside Alicia Silverstone, Andie MacDowell, Djimon Hounsou, Alfre Woodard, Golden Brooks, and many more. Queen Latifah was nominated for an NAACP award for her performance.

  • 6. The Equalizer (2021-)

    It’s only been two seasons but it seems as though Queen Latifah was destined to play the role as Robyn McCall in The Equalizer. She plays a woman with a special set of skills to help those who have no where to turn to. Queen Latifah plays alongside Tory Kittles, Adam Goldberg, Liza Lapira, Laya DeLeon Hayes, and Lorraine Toussaint. The show earned Queen Latifah an NAACP nomination for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series, while the show won Best New Show at the AAFCA (African American Films Critic Association)

  • 5. Girls Trip (2017)

    Queen Latifah, Regina Hall, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Tiffany Haddish, made a blockbuster when Girls Trip was released in 2017. Girls Trip follows the four aforementioned actresses as best friends reuniting to have a wild time at the annual Essence Festival in New Orleans. The film won Outstanding Motion Picture at the NAACP awards. The women are also gearing up for a sequel to the film which is reportedly set in Ghana.

  • 4. Chicago (2002)

    Queen Latifah played Matron Mama Morton in the 2002 film Chicago. She starred alongside Renée Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Richard Gere, and, Taye Diggs. Chicago has been adapted several times but the 2002 film won several awards at the 2003 Oscars. It won Best Picture, Best Costume Design, Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing, and Best Sound. Queen Latifah was nominated for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her performance in the film.

  • 3. Bessie (2015)

    One of Queen Latifah’s standout performances was for her role as legendary blues singer Bessie Smith in the 2015 biopic Bessie. She starred in the film alongside, Mo’Nique, Tory Kittles, Tika Sumpter, and more. The television film won four Emmys (Outstanding Television Movie, Outstanding Music Composition for a Limited Series, Movie or a Special (Original Dramatic Score), Outstanding Cinematography for a Limited Series or Movie, and Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Limited Series or a Movie). Queen Latifah also was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or a Movie.

  • 2. Living Single (1993-1998)

    Queen Latifah –or Flavor Magazine editor-in-chief Khadijah James depending on who’s asking– played the main character in the 1993 sitcom Living Single. She starred alongside Kim Fields, Kim Coles, Erika Alexander, John Henton, and Terrence ‘T.C.’ Carson. Living Single followed the lives of six friends living in Brooklyn in the ’90s. The series lasted five years and was nominated for four Emmys and won an NAACP award for Outstanding Comedy Series.

  • 1. Set It Off (1996)

    Queen Latifah’s best performance easily is her role as Cleo in the 1996 Set It Off. For that one scene alone–you know the one–Queen Latifah will always be remembered for. Set It Off follows four women who out of desperation commit bank robberies in Los Angeles. She could not have created this classic without the help of the rest of the all-star cast Jada Pinkett Smith, Vivica A. Fox, and Kimberly Elise. Queen Latifah was nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Motion Picture at the 1997 NAACP Awards.

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