What we know about Queen Naija’s parents

Queen Naija is an American singer and YouTuber who gained fame as a blogger before participating in season 13 of American Idol. She auditioned two years earlier but had failed to make it to the next round. In season 13, she got the Hollywood round, but couldn’t make the final thirty.

She resumed her YouTube career alongside her ex-husband Christopher Sails, whom she divorced in December 2017. Naija launched her music career that same month, releasing the song Medicine on 31st December 2017. Naija signed with Capitol Records in April 2018 and released her eponymous EP on 28th July 2018. Missunderstood, Queen’s debut album, dropped in late October 2020, and its deluxe edition, Missunderstood…Still, was released in mid-April 2021.

Queen Naija was born on 17th October 1995 in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Queen’s mother gave her the name Queen, which was Naija’s grandmother’s name. The name Naija came from Queen’s Arab father.

Naija is Arab from her father’s side; and Black and Italian from her mother’s side. She has contemplated changing her name due to people’s constant mispronunciations, but she feels that it would be disrespectful to her parents.

“I probably should keep it [her name] because it’s kind of disrespectful to my mom and my dad,” Naija told DJ Smallz Eyez. “I don’t know him, but still.” Naija’s mixed ethnicity made her a target for bullies in elementary school, but it gradually declined as she grew up and joined diverse schools. She explained:

“I went to predominantly black schools. So, I got bullied a lot because of my hair. My hair was pulled and things like that. A lot of girls just didn’t like me because of my lighter skin tone, but I never had a problem with anybody – I’m friendly to everyone. It [bullying] was mostly when I was younger.”

Naija’s mother, who goes by the name Momma Love on YouTube, never meant to have children. She had a tough life growing up and felt that she didn’t want to put another person through the life she had gone through. “I didn’t have a good childhood, so I thought that if I brought kids to this world, I would be doing a repeat of my life,” she said in a video posted on 12th June 2019.

Nevertheless, she got pregnant at 25 years old. The child’s father was a Yemeni man, who she couldn’t get into a long-term relationship with because of religion. “You can’t mix the two,” she said. She and the father disagreed on where the child would grow up. The father wanted to take his daughter, Queen, to Yemen but she wouldn’t have it. 

“He wanted to take her and go to Yemen with her, and I just wasn’t going to have it – not my first baby, not my first born,” she said. In a November 2017 video titled The Truth Behind My Dad, Queen revealed that her dad had already arranged a marriage for her in Yemen before she was born. 

He was intent on taking Queen to Yemen, but she resisted. “My mom was not about to go over there to that country because she knew that women don’t have rights out there,” Queen said. Queen and her mother remained in America, where they struggled, but at least, they were free.

Naija stated that she had closure about never meeting her dad, but she still wanted to see what he looked like. “I was just praying, ‘Well, Lord, I don’t know where my dad is but the least you could do – if you could just answer this prayer – let me just see a picture of him,” Naija said in a subsequent video.

Queen got her wish, as, by some miracle, her mother obtained pictures of her dad. According to Naija, the resemblance is unmistakable. “I look just like him,” Naija said. “My mom used to say all the time that I look just like him, and I just never knew him, so I’d be like, ‘Oh, okay.’ But when I seen this man, it’s like I am a spitting image of him.” Sadly, Queen also learned that her dad passed away in 2005.