Spotlight Series: Big Freedia

Tonight, the fierce and fabulous Big Freedia—pronounced “Big Free-da”—will take Levitt AMP Chattanooga by storm with her danceable rapid-fire beats and joyous messages of empowerment for people of all ages, backgrounds and genders. As an openly gay artist of color, Big Freedia fearlessly lives her truth, breaking down barriers and helping to create a more open and accepting world in the process. Dubbed the ‘Queen of Bounce,’ Big Freedia is a passionate ambassador of the high-energy, hip-hop with a twist coming out of New Orleans, known as bounce music. And her passion is contagious!

A dual force of jubilance and resilience, Big Freedia creates music that seamlessly glides between poignant, hard truths and exuberant call-and-responses that inspire concertgoers of all walks of life to confidently embrace their inner dancer, ‘releasing their wiggle.’

In honor of Big Freedia’s much-anticipated performance at Levitt AMP Chattanooga tonight, we’re bringing you 10 fun facts about this pioneering artist.

  1. As a New Orleans native, Big Freedia got her start singing in the choir at her neighborhood Baptist church, Pressing Onward M.B.C.
  2. In 1999, she took her passion for music to the next level, becoming a backup dancer and singer for LGBTQ ambassador of bounce music, Katey Red—which paved the way for her solo career.
  3. Fully aware of the power of music to build awareness of social issues, after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Big Freedia was on the forefront of the city’s cultural recovery efforts. As described by New Orleans-based music critic Alison Fenterstock in The New York Times, “Freedia was one of the first artists to come back after the storm and start working, and she worked really, really hard. If you lived here, it became impossible not to know who [she] was.”
  4. In 2011, Big Freedia was named “Best Emerging Artist” and “Best Hip-Hop/Rap Artist” in Best of the Beat Awards.
  5. In 2013, Big Freedia was given her own reality show on the Fuse Channel—Big Freedia Bounces Back (formerly Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce)—which chronicles her life on tour and at home.
  6. After making her network debut on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live!, the ‘Queen of Bounce’ has appeared on NBC’s Last Call with Carson Daly, Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohenand BET’s The Real in addition to her own reality show.
  7. In 2015, Big Freedia made a powerful cameo on Beyoncé’s GRAMMY-nominated single, “Formation.” While Big Freedia was thrilled to be included in such a monumental project, her fans were upset that Big Freedia’s iconic voice was used while her appearance was not.
  8. On July 7, 2015, she released her autobiography “God Save The Queen Diva.”
  9. In early 2018, Big Freedia made yet another vocal cameo—this time on Drake’s “Nice For What” which peaked at #1 on Billboard’s “Hot 100” chart. While Big Freedia did not appear in the accompanying music video, she was featured in Drake’s August 2018 music video for “In My Feelings.”
  10. In June, she released the EP “Third Ward Bounce!”

As a musician, published author and hit reality show host, Big Freedia empowers her fans to believe in themselves, follow their dreams and stand firm in who they are. If you’re lucky enough to be in Chattanooga, Tenn., be sure to come by tonight and experience the ‘Queen of Bounce’ live on the Levitt AMP Chattanooga stage!

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