Musicians You Should Know: Big Freedia

Basic Facts

Born: January 28, 1978, New Orleans, Louisiana
Type of Performer: Rapper, songwriter, singer
Genre: Bounce, hip hop

About Big Freedia

Big Freedia was born Freddie Ross in New Orleans in 1978. She is known internationally as the Queen of Bounce, an underground hiphop movement born in New Orleans in the late 1980s. She grew up singing in her church choir, and she started her stage career as a backup dancer for Katey Reed, a transgender bounce rapper who got her start in New Orleans in the 1990s. Big Freedia has made her career by forging her own path and being unapologetically herself: although she identifies as a gay black man, she uses fluid pronouns and has a feminine stage name. Her debut album, Queen Diva, was released in 2003, but she didn't rise to prominence after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, when people all over the country turned to New Orleans street music as a way of supporting and uplifting the city. After a string of cult-favorite hit singles, she entered the national mainstream in 2013 with her own reality TV show, "Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce," which won a GLAAD Media Award. More recently, she was featured on Beyoncé's GRAMMY Award-winning single "Formation" and Drake's hit single, "Nice For What." She has also collaborated with GRAMMY winning artists Lizzo and Kesha. 


Chasing Rainbows, feat. Kesha

Gin In My System

Further Reading