‘When You’re Good to Mama,’ Queen Latifah

Queen Latifah in "Chicago."

Queen Latifah in “Chicago.”

Essex County native and proud New Jerseyan Queen Latifah (née Dana Owens) started out in the entertainment industry as a hip-hop artist, of course; click here for a previous 350 Jersey Songs entry on her groundbreaking collaboration with Monie Love, “Ladies First.” But she has shown, as few other entertainers of her generation have, that she can really do it all.

She has proven her vocal prowess in a variety of musical styles, hosted a TV talk show, taken on a wide variety of acting roles and also proven to be a savvy behind-the-scenes businesswoman and an inspirational role model. She has 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 the hit movie version of the Kander & Ebb musical “Chicago.”

Below is her saucy “Chicago” show-stopper, “When You’re Good to Mama,” which bodes well for her next movie project: She will star in the HBO Bessie Smith biopic, “Bessie,” which premieres on May 16.

New Jersey celebrated its 350th birthday in 2014. And in the 350 Jersey Songs series, we marked the occasion by posting 350 songs — one a day, from September 2014 to September 2015 — that have something to do with the state, its musical history, or both. To see the entire list, click here.


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