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Long Beach Pride 2019: Big Freedia to headline festival

LONG BEACH — Get ready for some rump shaking.

Big Freedia will headline Long Beach Pride next month.

Long Beach Pride

The Long Beach Lesbian and Gay Pride Festival will take place May 18 and 19 at Marina Green Park and Rainbow Lagoon along Shoreline Drive.

The bounce music queen diva will perform May 19 at the new Nissan Stage, which Long Beach Pride created when it combined the urban soul and main stages into one music space and rebranded it, thanks to corporate sponsorship. Big Freedia performed in Long Beach in 2017 at Music Tastes Good.

6 things to know about Big Freedia, who will perform at Music Tastes Good

Tickets, $20 each day plus service fees, are available online.

The Long Beach Lesbian and Gay Pride Parade will march along Ocean Boulevard May 19.

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots is this year’s theme for Long Beach Gay Pride.

Long Beach Pride 2019: 50th anniversary of Stonewall Riots is festival, parade theme

Big Freedia

Born Freddie Rose, Big Freedia, 41, is credited with helping popularize the New Orleans genre of hip-hop called bounce music, which started in the underground scene in the early 1990s.

Bounce is characterized by call-and-response-style party with Mardi Gras Indian chants and dance call-outs that are frequently hypersexual.

Big Freedia Long Beach Pride

Born Freddie Rose, Big Freedia, 41, is credited with helping popularize the New Orleans genre of hip-hop called bounce music, which started in the underground scene in the early 1990s. Photo: Big Freedia

Queen Diva

Big Freedia started her professional performance career approximately 1999. Four years later, she released her debut studio album “Queen Diva.”

In 2013, she got her own reality show on the Fuse Channel, which chronicles her life on tour and at home. Two years later, Big Freedia released her autobiography, “God Save the Queen Diva.”

Big Freedia got in trouble with the law in 2016 and was indicted on theft of government funds after she failed to report her income earnings between 2010 and 2014 while still claiming Section 8 housing benefits.

‘3rd Ward Bounce’

Big Freedia pled guilty to all counts. In lieu of a jail sentence, she was sentenced to three years probation and ordered to pay $35,000 in restitution, and perform 100 hours of community service.

In 2018, Big Freedia said in an Instagram video that the judge in her case had approved her request to end her probation one year early for good behavior.

In 2018, Big Freedia also released the EP, “3rd Ward Bounce.” That music dropped in June, National LGBTQ Pride Month, and Big Freedia described what Pride means to her.

“To me Pride sounds like being free in every direction,” she said. “The way that you live. The way that you walk. The way that you talk. Who you choose to love, and who you choose to be. If I had to put a sound to (pride) it would be my voice.”

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

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