Queen Latifah is sadly mourning the loss of her mother today after she passed away after battling a bad heart condition for more than a decade People Magazine reports.

"It is with a heavy heart that I share the news my mother, Rita Owens passed away today,” Latifah said in an exclusive statement to People. “Anyone that has ever met her knows what a bright light she was on this earth. She was gentle, but strong, sweet, but sassy, worldy but pragmatic, a woman of great faith and certainly the love of my life.”

“She had struggled with a heart condition for many years and her battle is now over,” Latifah added. “I am heartbroken but know she is at peace. Thank you for your kindness, support and respect for our privacy at this time. Much Love, Dana Owens (aka Queen Latifah), forever Rita Owens’ daughter."

The news outlet says Owens reportedly dealt with heart failure since 2004, where she was able to manage the condition for so long thanks to proper medication, a chest defibrillator and healthy diet low on salt and fats.

Back in September, Latifah opened up about her mother’s long battle with heart failure, saying “I’ve just learned how much you can love a person and just how strong my mother is,” she shared. “I’ve come to respect her in ways you can’t even imagine.”

Our condolences go out to Queen Latifah and her family during this difficult time. R.I.P Rita Owens.

[Via]