The hip-hop pioneer, real name Dana Owens, marked the age milestone on Wednesday, March 18, and Common was among the famous friends to pay tribute on social media.
But instead of just sharing a simple birthday greeting, Common came up with a touching piece of poetry, in which he recounted the beginnings of the "Just Wright" co-stars' close bond after crossing paths in New York City when he was "an unsigned artist seeking a dream".
He continued, "Years later as an artist I would get to meet her, And get to know her as Dana and I was still inspired by Latifah.
"Because she was she doing movies, TV shows, rapping and could sing, But it was the unstoppable light inside her that made her The Queen.
"Later on we go on to do a movie together, and on this path we would find a friendship and bond that would be forever," he added.
"So whenever I see the Queen I know that everything is Alright, I Love you Dana when GOD made you HE did it Just Right."
Common, born Lonnie Rashid Lynn, also shared a sweet caption for his poem, writing, "Happy Born Day Dana! You are one of the greatest human being (sic) I've ever met. You have inspired me in ways that you can't fathom and you continue to.
"Thank you for being the Phenomenal Goddess that the Creator made you to be and sharing that light that smile, that gift, that flow, that voice, that acting presence and skill, that energy, that love and that joy with us. I celebrate you. Happy Born Day. Love You Rashid @queenlatifah".