This year, we’re celebrating an extended Black History Month by highlighting a variety of rising forces who are creating history before our very eyes. A Beyoncé single isn't necessarily the first place you'd hear a gender-fluid bounce rapper, but Big Freedia caught the eye of Queen Bey and the world when the New Orleans star brought her signature style to a section of the new single "Formation."
Big Freedia's unapologetic sense of self undoubtedly charmed Beyoncé—not to mention the country with her reality docu-series Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce, currently reigning as Fuse's biggest television show to date. Just like her music, every episode of Queen of Bounce is spiced with her catchphrases, no-BS attitude and unmistakable chant-like delivery. Just watch this performance of "N.O. Bounce."
But the self-described "queen diva" is more than just bounce music's most fabulous star. As one of the few LGBTQ artists in hip-hop, she's helping make changes in the rugged rap world. Freedia has been brutally honest in shining the spotlight on the not-so-glamorous sides of her life, including the tragic passing of her mother in Queen of Bounce Season 2, a cheating boyfriend in Season 3, and the personal impact of Hurricane Katrina in her God Save the Queen Diva! memoir.
In an age where it seems like every celebrity is yelling as loud as possible for attention, a bellowing Big Freedia ("you already knowwww!") is turning heads by simply doing her. With appearances on shows like Jimmy Kimmel Live!, tours with the Postal Service, collaborations with Diplo and RuPaul, and a fifth season of her show confirmed, Big Freedia's reign should continue reaching bigger audiences, as long as she keeps being herself.