Big Freedia granted early probation, thanks fans on social media

Musician Big Freedia attends the FUSE Media TCA Mixer at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 31, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images For FUSE Media)

NEW ORLEANS — Big Freedia’s probation for lying to the federal government to keep public housing benefits has ended a year early.

The New Orleans bounce queen and reality TV star made the emotional announcement on social media Tuesday night. She said she had just arrived in Canada for an upcoming performance at Montreal Pride when she got news of the judge’s decision.

This has been a long journey for me,” she said. “Thank you for everybody that believed in me and supported me .. especially my fans.  I pushed through and I made it. Thanks even to the judge, thanks to the government. It made me a different person.”

Freedia, whose real name is Freddie Ross Jr., pleaded guilty to theft of government funds in March 2016 for lying about her income and fraudulently receiving about $35,000 worth of housing vouchers from 2010-2014.

She was sentenced in August 2016 to three years probation, a $35,000 fine, and 100 hours of community service.

Her lawyer asked a federal judge to end her probation early, arguing that she has done more than the required community service, stayed drug-free and out of trouble — even after her brother, Adam Ross, was shot to death in Central City in January, according to Nola.com.

Freedia’s newfound freedom comes on the heels of a successful few months in the bounce business. She was featured in the intro to Drake’s single “Nice For What” and appeared in Drake’s New Orleans-shot video, “In My Feelings.”

“Time to celebrate,” Freedia said on Instagram.