Credit: Earl Gibson III/Getty Images Photo: Lil' Mama at BET Awards 2014 Red Carpet

Brooklyn rapper Niatia Kirkland aka Lil' Mama has come a long way from being the "Lip Gloss" performer we first met back in 2007. Since then, this gal has gone on to become a judge on MTV's America's Best Dance Crew and has even made her lead acting debut as Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes in VH1's TLC biopic, CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story.

While life may look sweet for the young star, things weren't always so great. Lil' Mama lost her mother to cancer just as she made her break in the music biz, and the performer recently opened up about it.

"I always refer to it as being like the highest point in my life and the lowest point in my life," Lil Mama revealed to former co-star KeKe Palmer on the latter's daytime show, Just Keke.

"It's like, you don't ever wanna lose a parent, you're never thinking about that," she added. "So for it to be happening at the same time was like, oh my God. I literally had to come off of the tour with Chris Brown and all these guys, Bow Wow and Soulja Boy, Sean Kingston …  I felt, like, amazing, but at the same time it was difficult because it was pressure to finish the album, it was pressure to be always on. And you know, that whole time I'm thinking about my mother's health. I'm thinking about, is she happy?"

On December 15, 2007, six months after the release of her solo debut single, Lil' Mama's mom passed away. The rapper-turned-actress told Keke that she always looks back to the music video of her first single, which featured her mother in a small speaking part, for inspiration.

"When she says, 'Mama, it wasn't the lip gloss, it was you all along' it really inspires me to just keep going no matter what," Lil' Mama said tearfully.

We're glad that Lil' Mama was able to have a source of inspiration from her mother, even after her passing, and we have a feeling that her mother would be very proud of her daughter's accomplishments if she were alive today.

What do you think should be Lil' Mama's next career move — another movie or new music? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!

Source: Just Keke