Essex County native and proud New Jerseyan Queen Latifah started out as a hip-hop artist, of course, but has shown, as few entertainers of her generation have, that she can really do it all, singing in a variety of musical styles, hosting a TV talk show, taking on a wide variety of acting roles, and also proving to be a savvy behind-the-scenes businesswoman and inspirational role model. She’s received Grammy and Golden Globes awards, as well as an Emmy nomination and, in 2003, an Academy Award nomination, in the Supporting Actress category, for her work as the manipulative prison matron, “Mama” Morton, in “Chicago.”
Below is her saucy “Chicago” show-stopper, “When You’re Good to Mama,” which bodes well for her next movie project: She stars in the HBO Bessie Smith biopic, “Bessie,” which premieres on May 16.
New Jersey celebrated its 350th birthday last year. And in the 350 Jersey Songs series, we are marking the occasion by posting 350 songs — one a day, for almost a year — that have something to do with the state, its musical history, or both. We started in September 2014, and will keep going until late in the summer.
If you would like to suggest any songs to be included, please let me know in the comments section underneath the video. And if you want to see the entire list, either alphabetically or in the order the songs were selected, click here.