Queen Latifah was named as the recipient of this year’s Marian Anderson Award, an honor given to “critically acclaimed artists who have impacted society in a positive way,” according to the organization’s website. Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney made the announcement on Tuesday.
The prestigious award is named after the Philly-born opera singer who became the first Black woman to perform at the Metropolitan Opera House. Past honorees include Patti LaBelle and Dionne Warwick.
Queen Latifah, born Dana Owens, burst onto the scene in the late ’80s as a rapper using her voice to uplift women in the community. She later ventured into acting on the hit series Living Single and later hosted a daytime talk show. In 2002, she was nominated for an Oscar for her role in Chicago.
The Grammy Award winner is being recognized for her advocacy of Black women in the music and film industry. Her production company, Flavor Unit Entertainment, partnered with Essence Ventures to provide $20 million to fund film and television projects by Black creatives, reported Deadline.
“I can’t think of anyone more vibrant and responsive in the community,” Kenney said. “A great model for our kids.”
Queen Latifah will be presented with the award on Nov. 20 during the 20th anniversary Marian Anderson Gala at The Kimmel Center for the performing arts.
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Christina Santi is a news and culture writer for EBONY.com. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, she considers herself a well-read, not so traditional feminist with a heavy interest in music, fashion and pop culture. Christina currently lives in New York City, where she refers to her Cuban & Jamaican descent often while writing about her experiences as a first-generation Afro-Latinx in America. She also devotes time writing personalized reading material for her tutees and turning ideas into words for streetwear brand, PUER By Noel Bronson.