Jenny Craig Inc. today announced that it is a co-sponsor of Queen Latifah's 2007 Trav'lin Light tour. Queen Latifah and Jenny Craig will use the sponsorship to increase awareness about the health risks associated with obesity (e.g., diabetes) and to promote Jenny Craig's "Healthy Curves are Beautiful Curves(TM)" campaign. Queen Latifah is not currently participating in the Jenny Craig Weight Loss Program, but she believes it is one of a range of ways people can reduce their weight and thereby enhance their health. Jenny Craig's CEO, Patti Larchet said "Queen Latifah is a tremendous performer with broad appeal that spans genders and races. She's also a powerful role model for women's self-reliance and self-esteem. We are proud to help bring her talent to America." Queen Latifah personally understands the severity of obesity-related illnesses -- having lost her great-grandmother to diabetes. Diabetes is named by the World Health Organization as "the global health hazard of the 21st Century" and is often a direct result of weight gain. She said "Jenny Craig's sponsorship of my tour will allow me to begin a dialogue with my fans about healthful living. My hope is to educate people on the simple nutritional steps they can take to have a positive impact on the length and quality of their lives. "Do you know," Queen Latifah added, "that by losing just 5%-7% of their body weight, an overweight person can lower their risk of developing Type II diabetes by 58%?" According to the American Diabetes Association, "nearly nine out of ten people with newly diagnosed Type II diabetes are overweight and losing that weight could better manage their diabetes." The Trav'lin Light tour will take place between September 29 and November 20th. Queen Latifah will travel across the United States, making dozens of stops at intimate venues. She will perform songs off her newest album "Trav'lin Light" along with tracks from the Great American Songbook.
Singer/rapper/actress Queen Latifah, who releases her second jazz album 'Trav'lin' Light' on September 25th, is also planning a return to rap. The star - real name Dana Owens - has been a regular in Hollywood of late, with high-profile roles in movies such as Hairspray and Chicago says current songs in the hip-hop industry are 'too superficial'. "I'd love to make another rap album," Latifah tells Billboard.com. "I have some music I've already been working on. But everything has to have its proper place; I don't really want to drop the rap album while ('Trav'lin' Light') is out. I really want to respect every genre for what it is, and I'd prefer to record a rap album and be out there promoting it." But the Queen is keen to return to her rap roots and record a new album - almost a decade after her last release. She tells Billboard.com, "I think there's a bunch of rap heads and hip-hop lovers who are my age. They just want good music that's not shallow. There's still room for me to do my thing." Latifah's last foray into the rap industry was 1998's ‘Order In The Court.’ “Trav’lin’ Light,” her new album due Sept. 25 from jazz label Verve Records, is the entertainer’s second foray into the jazz, soul and blues arena following her 2004 effort, “The Dana Owens Album.” The disc features covers of both standards and pop songs made famous by 10cc, Smokey Robinson, the Pointer Sisters and Donny Hathaway. She begins a tour to support the album on Sept. 29 in Dallas. View the list below. September 2007 29 - Dallas, TX - Majestic TheaterOctober 20071 - Iowa City, IA - Hancher Auditorium4 - Mt. Pleasant, MI - Soaring Eagle Casino5 - Cleveland, OH - Playhouse Square6 - Skokie, IL - North Shore Center8 - Verona, NY - Turning Stone Casino9 - Stamford, CT - Palace Theater 10 - Red Bank, NJ - Count Basie Theatre12 - Rehoboth Beach, DE - Rehoboth Beach Convention Center13 - Mashantucket, CT - Foxwoods Casino14 - Bethesda, MD - Music Center15 - Baltimore, MD - Lyric Opera House17 - Wilmington, DE - Grand Opera House19 - Atlantic City, NJ - House of Blues20 - Newark, NJ - New Jersey Performing Arts Center21 - Bethlehem, PA - Zoellner Arts Center24 - New York, NY - Highline Ballroom (two shows) 26 - Troy, NY - Troy Savings Bank Music Hall27 - Kingston, NY - Ulster Performing Arts Center29 - Harrisburg, PA - The Forum30 - Newport News, VA - Ferguson CenterNovember 20072 - Atlanta, GA - Symphony Hall3 - Biloxi, MI - Beau Rivage Theatre4 - Lafayette, LA - Heymann Performing Arts Center6 - Naples, FL - Philharmonic Performing Arts Center7 - West Palm Beach, FL - Kravis Center West8 - Clearwater, FL - Ruth Eckerd Hall10 - Orlando, FL - Hard Rock Live13 - Costa Mesa, CA - Segerstrom Concert Hall15 - Santa Barbara, CA - Arlington Theater16 - Las Vegas, NV - House of Blues17 - Mesa, AZ - Mesa Arts Center19 - Escondido, CA - California Center for the Arts20 - Palm Desert, CA - McCallum Theater