NEW ORLEANS — Big Freedia will host the New Orleans segment of Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2021,” ABC and the city of New Orleans announced on Monday.
Big Freedia will be joined by Grammy-winning artist PJ Morton who will perform “Auld Lang Syne” as part of the lead-up to the dropping of the fleur-de-lis at midnight.
“We are beyond excited that Big Freedia and PJ Morton, two of New Orleans' brightest musical lights, will be shining for our city and before the entire world as we ring in the new year,” Mayor LaToya Cantrell said.
Cantrell said that the broadcast event will employ 70 local workers who have lost production jobs since the start of the pandemic.
The announcement comes after weeks of controversy after Cantrell asked the producers to remove Grammy-winner and Lafayette native Lauren Daigle from the production. Daigle did an impromptu performance at an unpermitted concert in the French Quarter which drew hundreds of mask-less people who did not social distance.
Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry and Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser defended Daigle and said she should be included in the production.