The Unstoppable Big Freedia: A New Orleans Icon’s Unveils Hype Hair Magazine Cover Reveal at Essence Fest

The Unstoppable Big Freedia: A New Orleans Icon’s Unveils Hype Hair Magazine Cover Reveal at Essence Fest


Written by Trish B. 

Big Freedia, the indomitable Queen of Bounce from the Third Ward of Uptown New Orleans, has been a force of nature in the music industry for over two decades. Known for her high-energy performances and infectious beats, Big Freedia “The Queen Diva”, has not only elevated the Bounce music scene but has also become a cultural icon and advocate for the LGBTQ+ community. Her career trajectory is a testament to her resilience, talent, and unwavering commitment to her craft.

 The Rise of a Bounce Queen

Born Freddie Ross Jr. in New Orleans, Big Freedia began her musical journey in the late 1990s, influenced by the vibrant sounds of her hometown. She started performing in local clubs, quickly gaining a reputation for her electrifying stage presence and unique sound. Bounce music, characterized by its rapid beats and call-and-response style, found its perfect ambassador in Freedia. Her debut album, An Ha, Oh Yeah, released in 2003, marked the beginning of a prolific career that would see her release multiple albums and mixtapes, each more successful than the last.

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Photo Credit: Gifted Mindset Photography

Breakthrough and Mainstream Success

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Freedia’s big break came with the release of her 2010 album, Big Freedia Hitz Vol. 1. The album’s success propelled her into the national spotlight, earning her features in major publications and appearances on television shows. In 2013, she starred in her own reality TV series, Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce, on Fuse TV, which ran for six seasons. The show not only showcased her music but also highlighted her life as a proud gay man in the hip-hop industry, breaking down barriers and challenging stereotypes.

Her influence continued to grow, leading to collaborations with big-name artists like Beyoncé, Drake, and Lizzo. Her voice famously features on Beyoncé’s hit song “Formation,” a collaboration that brought Bounce music to a global audience and solidified Freedia’s place in the pantheon of influential artists.

Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Big Freedia has remained unstoppable. Her recent tours have been a testament to her enduring popularity and the unyielding energy she brings to every performance. In 2023, Freedia embarked on a nationwide tour, bringing her signature Bounce sound to cities across the United States. Her shows are known for their infectious energy, with fans dancing non-stop from start to finish. The tour was a resounding success, with sold-out shows and rave reviews from critics and fans alike.

Freedia’s latest album, Central City, released in early 2024, continues to push the boundaries of Bounce music. Featuring collaborations with a diverse array of artists, the album showcases her ability to innovate while staying true to her roots. Tracks like “Bigfoot” and “El Niño” have become instant hits, further cementing her legacy as a pioneer of the genre.

Hype Hair Magazine Cover Reveal

Adding another feather to her cap, Big Freedia  graces the cover of Hype Hair Magazine, being the leading publication celebrating Black hair and beauty. The cover reveal was a significant moment taking place in New Orleans at the Essence Festival’s 30th Anniversary, not just for Freedia, but for the representation of LGBTQ+ artists in mainstream media. In her feature interview, Freedia discussed her journey, the evolution of her style, and the importance of self-expression through hair and fashion.

Big Freedia shows her love for experimenting with different hairstyles and how her hair has been a powerful tool for self-expression throughout her career. “Hair is such an important part of who I am,” she said. “It’s a way for me to express my personality, my creativity, and my pride. Being on the cover of Hype Hair is an honor and a moment of celebration for everyone who embraces their true selves.”

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Big Freedia’s career is a testament to her resilience and ability to adapt and innovate. From her early days in New Orleans clubs to gracing the cover of major magazines and touring internationally, she has remained true to her roots while continuously evolving as an artist. Her influence extends beyond music; she is a trailblazer for the LGBTQ+ community and an inspiration to countless fans around the world.

As Big Freedia continues to break barriers and set new standards in the music industry, her legacy as the Queen of Bounce is firmly cemented. With her unwavering dedication to her craft and her community, Big Freedia proves that she is, indeed, unstoppable.

Congratulations BIG Freedia!

Photo Credits: Gifted Mindset Photography

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