Jeremy Simmons

Known affectionately by many as simply "Mama Vera" on Fuse's docu-series Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce, Vera Ross, mother of New Orleans artist Big Freedia, passed away on April 1 after a long battle with spinal and lung cancer.

Fuse is deeply saddened by the loss of Vera, who was a bright light for us all. We, as well as the program's viewers, are fortunate to have witnessed her deep bond with Freedia. While Vera is no longer with us, her memory and spirit will live on through both Freedia and her loved ones, a sentiment expressed through the artist's official statement released earlier today:

"It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Ms. Vera Ross, mother of New Orleans own Queen Diva Big Freedia. As many know, Ms. Vera courageously battled spinal and lung cancer with grace and humility. Yesterday, April 1st, Ms. Vera departed this life and leaves behind her sons Freedia and Adam, her daughter Crystal and granddaughter CeCe.

Through Freedia, Vera shall remain in the hearts and minds of family, friends and fans who have gotten to know her through her special bond with her son. “My mother was my rock and my inspiration,” says Big Freedia, “She will be deeply missed.” Due to the untimely nature of this event, Big Freedia's public appearance's and performances have been put on hold indefinitely. Big Freedia would like to apologize to the fans in Portland, Oregon who attended last nights cancelled show at Mississippi Studios. A new date will be scheduled in the Portland area soon."

Our thoughts and prayers are with Freedia and her family during this difficult time.