Queen Latifah Gets a Little Jazzier

Monday, September 27th 2004, 9:58 am
By: News On 6

DENVER (AP) _ Queen Latifah is getting a little jazzier. Five albums and 15 years after her hard-hitting hip-hop debut ``All Hail the Queen,'' Queen Latifah is poised to release the jazz-obsessed ``The Dana Owens Album'' in which she sings standards.

``This is definitely not a one-shot deal,'' the singer, whose real name is Dana Owens, told The Denver Post in Sunday's editions. ``Hopefully, with the success of it, I'll be in it till I'm dead. I've always looked at singing as something I can do forever. I don't know if I can rap forever. I don't know that I can stay as hot as the hottest girl in the game.''

It was her experience in the 1998 feature film ``Living Out Loud,'' co-starring alongside Holly Hunter and Danny DeVito, that led to her new album. She played nightclub singer Liz Bailey and sang a couple of jazz standards.

``The Dana Owens Album'' is released this week.

The new album, where she tackles songs by Al Green and The Mamas & the Papas, is something of a departure for an artist whose last record was ``Order in the Court,'' one of 1998's better efforts at combining R&B and hip-hop.

But she said she has a fully formed and finished hip-hop album in her back pocket just waiting for the right label. ``I figured I'd drop this album first,'' she said. Still, her long-term plans are obvious. ``Don't be surprised if I'm 65 and playing Vegas.''