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Singing is Queen Latifah's new rap

NEW YORK, Sept. 28 (UPI) -- Actress/rapper Queen Latifah says "The Dana Owens Album" has allowed her to finally show the world her singing side.

"Underneath that rapper was a singer all along. She's been begging to get out," says Latifah, real name Dana Owens, who released four rap albums between 1989-98 while also acting on TV and in films such as "Living Out Loud," "Bringing Down the House" and "Chicago."

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"The Dana Owens Album" features Latifah's cover of jazz, R&B and pop standards, as well as the rock hit "California Dreamin'." She also duets with soul great Al Green on his "Simply Beautiful."

Latifah -- whose next film, "Taxi," opens Oct. 8 -- says she plans to continue rapping but will also pursue her singing career. "Singing is something I can do forever," she explains.

"I did hip-hop all those years. Now I'm signing again. I'm caught between two worlds, so hopefully I can create some sort of bridge to connect them."

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