Ludacris

  • Hip-hop rapper and songwriter born Christopher Bridges in 1977 in Champaign Illinois. His teenage years were spent in Atlanta.
  • He wrote his first rap song at the age of 9, and he joined a rap group when he was 12. He went to college, but dropped out after a year to pursue rap music as a career. He competed in talent shows, and sent a demo tape to an Atlanta radio station. He was brought on as an intern, doing promo spots, and soon was given his own show, using the name “Chris Lova Lova.”  Timbaland heard his demo tape, and hired Ludacris to work on his single Fat Rabbit. Soon after, hip hop artist Jermaine Dupri hired him to voice the Madden 2000 video game.
  • He developed his stage name early, reflecting his outlandish alternate persona. He refers to his split personality – “part of me is calm, cool and collective, while the other side is just beyond crazy.” It fits with his rap style, which is fast, wild and comedic.
  • His first album, Incognegro, was released on an independent record label in 1999. He sold 30,000 copies in the Atlanta area, and it led to a contract with a major record label in 2000. His first release with this label was Back for the First Time. The tracks were the same as his first album, plus 4 additional songs. Unlike hip hop from the east or west, this “Dirty South Sound” brought humor into his rap lyrics. It sold over 3 million copies. Two singles – What’s Your Fantasy and Southern Hospitality – were in the top 5 on the Rap Chart, and top 10 on the R&B Chart.
  • His next 4 albums all were platinum, with Word of Mouf from 2002 achieving triple platinum status, and Chicken-n-Beer (2003) and The Red Light District (2004) achieving double platinum status. Three albums hit #1 on the Billboard 200 album chart, and numerous singles were in the Top 10 on the Rap chart. Notably, he began to chart highly on the Hot 100 chart, showing crossover success. Two songs – Stand Up in 2003 and Money Maker in 2006 – peaked at #1 on the Hot 100 chart. His album Release Therapy from 2006 won a Grammy for Best Rap Album, and the single Money Maker won for Best Rap Song.
  • In 2004, he co-wrote and contributed vocals to Usher’s song Yeah! The song won a Grammy award, and was Billboard Magazine’s #2 song for the decade.
  • Ludacris’ music over the past 10 years continues to be popular. Big hits include How Low and My Chick Bad. He also has been the featured artist on two #1 hits from other artists – Glamorous by Fergie and Break Your Heart by Taio Cruz both topped the Hot 100 chart with Ludacris providing vocals. In 2011, he crossed over to country music, collaborating with fellow Georgian Jason Aldean on a remix of Aldean’s hit Dirt Road Anthem at the CMT Music Awards show.  
  • In total, he has released 8 studio albums (and he is working on a ninth), 2 compilation albums, 1 EP, 6 mixtapes, and 88 singles (51 of which he is a featured artist for a song by another artist). He also has a significant career in films – his role as Tej Parker has been featured in 5 of the Fast and Furious movies.
  • Here is the video to his Grammy Award winning song, Money Maker, which also features Pharrell. Sorry to the raunchy rap lovers out there – I could only find this censored version.

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