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."

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Queen Latifah out and about
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Queen Latifah out and about
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 23: Queen Latifah performs in a LipSync Battle as part of the naming celebration for the Carnival cruise ship Horizon at Pier 88 on May 23, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Gary Miller/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 23: Queen Latifah attends Carnival Horizon naming ceremony event at Pier 88 on May 23, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Manny Carabel/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 15: Actor Queen Latifah speaks at the 2018 A+E Upfront on March 15, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for A+E)
STAR: Queen Latifah in the '30 Days To Famous' season finale episode of STAR airing Wednesday, May 23 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 18: Queen Latifah looks on during the NBA All-Star Game 2018 on February 18, 2018 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Tom O'Connor/NBAE via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 07: Queen Latifah attends the 2018 amfAR Gala New York at Cipriani Wall Street on February 7, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Stewart/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 7: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Queen Latifah speaks onstage during the 2018 amfAR Gala New York at Cipriani Wall Street on February 7, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Tachman/amfAR2017/Getty Images)
STAR: Queen Latifah in the 'Let the Good Times Roll' episode of STAR airing Wednesday, May 2 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 0781 -- Pictured: Queen Latifah during an interview on December 1, 2017 -- (Photo by: Andrew Lipovsky/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 29: Actress/singer Queen Latifah attends Alvin Ailey's 2017 opening night Gala at New York City Center on November 29, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images)
STAR: Queen Latifah in the 'A House Divided' episode of STAR airing Wednesday, Dec. 6 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by FOX via Getty Images)
MIAMI BEACH, FL - OCTOBER 14: Queen Latifah arrives at REVOLT Music Conference - Gala Dinner & Award Presentation at Eden Roc Hotel on October 14, 2017 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by John Parra/Getty Images for Revolt Music Conference)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 16: Event honoree Queen Latifah attends VH1 Save The Music Foundation #TurnItUpTo20 gala at SIR Stage37 on October 16, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Gary Gershoff/WireImage)
MIAMI BEACH, FL - OCTOBER 14: (L-R) Diddy and Queen Latifah at The 2017 REVOLT Music Conference - Gala Dinner & Award Presentation at Eden Roc Hotel on October 14, 2017 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Thaddaeus McAdams/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 28: Actress Queen Latifah visits the SiriusXM Studios with American Heart Association to talk about heart failure on September 28, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 23: Queen Latifah attends 'Empire' & 'Star' Celebrate FOX's New Wednesday Night - Red Carpet at One World Observatory on September 23, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 23: Queen Latifah attends 'Empire' and 'Star' celebrate FOX's new Wednesday night at One World Observatory on September 23, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - AUGUST 25: Actress Queen Latifah at 2017 BronzeLens Film Festival Women SuperStars Luncheon at Westin Peachtree Plaza on August 25, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images)
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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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