Queen Latifah listens to surprising music before she performs

Queen Latifah has been performing since she was a teenager, and she has her pre-show routine pretty down-pat -- though her choice of music backstage may come as surprise.

The performer recently spoke to AOL.com while she was aboard the new Carnival Horizon cruise ship, on which she took part in a lively lip sync battle performance against Super Bowl champ Jake Elliott, and she revealed what she likes to do before taking the stage for most of her performances.

"I definitely have to warm up the voice, so we do that," she started. "I like to have my hair, makeup and wardrobe all done before I just sit by myself and be in peace and quiet and think about what I’m about to do and relax. I hate for everything to be really hyper before I go onstage, because I’ll bring that all out when I’m out there. I like the calm before the storm."

Part of that calm she insists on having? Music, of course -- the genre of which caught us off-guard.

"I listen to house music mostly or Brazilian music," Latifah revealed. "Or [I'll listen to] some of the songs that I might be singing that night if I want to remember how I performed it on the record."

After getting primped and stage-ready, her crew does one more thing before letting it all out on stage: Using prayer as a reminder for all of the things that they're grateful for.

"The prayer before going on stage usually puts me way more at ease, so my whole band and I usually say a prayer and feel very grateful for that opportunity [to perform," she explained. "We actually get very humble before we go out there and remember how thankful we are for that opportunity. When we go out on stage, we want to touch someone in some way. We hope to be a vessel that people can feel connected and have a good time."

And, for her Lip Sync Battle performance aboard Carnival Horizon, that prayer clearly paid off: Her rendition of "It's Raining Men" easily bested Elliott's "Here I Go Again."

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