25 celebrities you didn’t know had music careers

Brie Larson (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BET)
Brie Larson (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BET) /
21 of 26
music careers
Queen Latifah (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images) /

Queen Latifah

Unless you have been living under a rock for the last decade or so, you obviously know that Queen Latifah is an amazing singer. We’ve seen her work her vocal magic in movies like Chicago, Hairspray, and Joyful Noise, so we know that girl can siiiiing. But some people don’t realize that she got her start in music as a rapper.

Originally, Queen Latifah was a beatboxer in a hip-hop group named Ladies Fresh and was also part of some other rap groups around New York. She got the attention of Fab 5 Freddy, the host of Yo! MTV Raps and this led to her getting her first record deal and recording her debut single, “Wrath of My Madness” in 1988. She signed to Tommy Boy Records and released her first album All Hail The Queen in 1989. She was only 19 years old.

Since her debut, she has released six more solo albums, including her follow-up Nature of a Sista in 1991, and The Dana Owens Album in 2004, which was a departure from her usual rap and R&B music, and featured the Queen performing jazz standards. And if you needed proof that music was never just a stepping stone to acting, she has been nominated for a total of seven Grammy Awards.

So along with being an amazing singer and a powerful rapper, a Grammy winner, an Oscar-nominated actress, a producer, a philanthropist, and so much more, Queen Latifah genuinely just seems like a nice woman. Because come on — who doesn’t love Queen Latifah?