Queen Latifah may have paid tribute to Michael Jackson at his public memorial at the Staples Center on Tuesday, but the star told David Letterman on “The Late Show” on Wednesday night that she never came face-to-face with the late singer.
“I never actually got to meet him,” she said. “My [business] partner, Shakim [Compere], met him because we managed Naughty By Nature and they did a remix with him.”
While she never met him, Queen Latifah revealed the King of Pop appreciated her good looks.
“He thought I had beautiful cheekbones, I know that much,” she said. “That’s a compliment coming from Michael Jackson.”
At the memorial, Queen Latifah started her speech by saying she was “here representing millions of fans around the world listening to Michael,” and she told Dave on Wednesday that the pop star had been a “huge influence.”
“Especially being a black kid,” she said. “[The Jackson 5] had their own cartoon, they had their own variety show. Janet Jackson was an influence on me too because she would come out and do this little Mae West, ‘Come up and see me sometime’ thing, and I was like, ‘Wow, black people! Young, like me, we can do this!’ It was an inspiration to let you know that you can make it.”
And as seen by the worldwide outpouring of support for the star in the wake of his death on June 25, his influence was global.
“To see him go around the world and touch so many different kinds of people, different cultures, different creeds, nationalities — people who couldn’t even speak English were so touched by his music and inspired by the positivity of it,” she said. “It was just really amazing to see. He broke down a lot of barriers.”