Queen Latifah has mass appeal. Something about the hip-hop veteran who once donned dashikis and kufis, draws mainstream audiences in. On its debut, “The Queen Latifah Show” that premiered Sept 16 brought in a 1.7 household rating– the second most popular debut of a talk show since “Dr. Oz” in 2009. The ratings and her overall career have proven that Latifah has enough star power to draw in a diverse array.
She talks about all this and more for the October issue of More magazine. In the cover spread Latifah poses for Peggy Sirota in natural makeup and little flash. Her inner beauty shines.
On her talk show: “This is a learning experience. I’m not going to pretend to be Oprah Winfrey. That woman built a 25-year show. I’ve got to get through week one, then month one. I expect to make mistakes and learn and grow.”
On losing her brother: “Jada [Pinkett-Smith] was the ﬁrst person who got me to go to therapy. I was really having problems dealing with the loss. I didn’t feel. It was like I had a circuit breaker. When I felt any emotion too much, whether it was joy, fear, love, it would turn right off. So that was scaring me. I thought I was about to live my life not living my life. I was doing things to numb whatever was left or looking for little rushes of some sort. Going through the motions, doing my job, showing up for work but not feeling.”
Pinkett-Smith on her first impression of Latifah: “She was barefoot, wrapped in this African garb with the headpiece [when I first met her]. I was so impressed with this black woman my age who was representing herself as an African queen. It was a bold statement in a very male-dominated industry.”
To read ‘More,’ pick up the issue currently on newsstands.