Queen Latifah, announced Wednesday that her mother, Rita Owens, has passed away from a severe heart condition that has been ailing her for more than a decade.

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

Heart failure is a chronic progressive condition where the heart is unable to pump blood efficiently through the body. Rita Owens was on medication, had a defibrillator implanted in her chest to prevent heart attacks, and a strict diet of low salts and fats with lots of vegetables.

”She had struggled with a heart condition for many years and her battle is now over… 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.”

Latifah mentioned to PEOPLE in a previous interview in 2015 that when she was not in California, she was at her mother’s New Jersey home helping with caregiving duties.

She broke the news to PEOPLE about her mother’s death and impact on her life.

“I watched her come through so many things, ups and downs, hospitalizations – I mean really being in the ICU for that matter – you know, going through tough times and watching her come back and bounce back and still maintain this sense of humor, and love and drive and will… I just love her so much more, I respect her so much more. She really just gives me hope for life and the world.” Latifah said. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀