Ludacris - Biography

Illinois-born Ludacris adopted a clownish, witty and likeable persona with a decidedly dirty south bent. Over time he’s broadened his spectrum, pursuing acting, endorsing TAG body spray and aiming for the pop market.


Christopher Brian Bridges was born on Sep 11th, 1977 in Champaign, Illinois, the only child of Roberta Shields and Wayne Brian Bridges. The family moved to Atlanta some years later and Chris attended Banneker High. After high school he enrolled at Georgia State University where he studied music management. He also worked at Atlanta’s Hot 97.5, first as an intern and later as DJ Chris Lova Lova. He appeared in the video for Lil Jon's booty bass collaboration with Disco Rick, 1997’s "Shawty Freak a Lil Sumthin'." In 1998, as “Ludachris,” he was featured rapping on Timbaland’s song, “Fat Rabbit.”


Two years later, he and Chaka Zulu started Disturbing tha Peace and released Ludacris’s debut, Incognegro (2000 Disturbing tha Peace). The album came to the attention of The Geto Boys’ Scarface, who (as a representative for Def Jam), negotiated a deal. Def Jam repackaged Incognegro, added a few news songs (a UGK collaboration, "Stick 'Em Up,” a Neptunes production, "Southern Hospitality,” and a remix "Phat Rabbit”) and released it as Back for the First Time (2000 Def Jam). The lead single, "What's Your Fantasy?" was a hit, peaking at #21. "Southern Hospitality," reached #23. 


Immediately Ludacris was sought after by various musicians including Missy Elliott, Mariah Carey, LL Cool J, Chingy, Usher, Ciara, Jamie Foxx, Fergie and others. Word of Mouf (2001 Def Jam) was an even bigger success, dropping most of the thug-posture of his debut and honing his comedy. "Area Codes," "Rollout (My Business)," "Saturday (Oooh Oooh!)," "Welcome to Atlanta" and "Move Bitch" were all massively popular and seemingly designed to appeal to the broadest audience possible. Ludacris and an Atlanta attorney, Christine White, gave birth to their daughter, Karma, and in 2001 Ludacris founded (with Chaka Zulu) the Ludacris Foundation, to promote creative arts education for middle and high school students.


Golden Grain (2002 Def Jam) was credited to “Ludacris presents Disturbing the Peace.” After Ludacris began shilling Pepsi, Bill O'Reilly called for a boycott, describing Ludacris as someone who glamorizes "life of guns, violence, drugs and disrespect of women." They later squashed their beef at a charity event. Ludacris moved into film with an appearance in John Singleton’s 2 Fast 2 Furious. His third album, Chicken -N- Beer (2003 Def Jam), was his first to top the pop charts, largely on the strength of the Kanye West produced “Stand Up,” which had been featured in the tween dancical, You Got Served. The Red Light District (2004 Def Jam) continued to mine the same commercial formula, even collaborating with Canadian popsters Sum 41. The result was another pop chart topper.


Besides another Disturbing the Peace (2005 Def Jam), Ludacris’s attention was on his role in the farcical Crash, from the mind of Paul Haggis, the Canadian Scientologist creator of TV’s Walker, Texas Ranger. In 2006, Ludacris released a mixtape with DJ Ideal, The DRP Mixtape (2006 Oar). With the release of Release Therapy (2006 Def Jam), Ludacris vowed to impress with his serious side, reinforcing his intention by getting a conservative hair cut. Songs within addressed depression, domestic violence and criticized the Bush administration.


In February 2007, Ludacris lost his father to cancer. Ludacris understandably maintained a low profile for much of the year, although he did duet with incontinent sex symbol Fergie. In 2008, he released a mixtape with DJ Drama, The Preview (2008 DJ Drama), a concept album, Theater of the Mind (2008 Def Jam), and acted in the Christmas Film, Fred Claus. Three of Atlanta’s biggest rappers, Ludacris, Young Jeezy & T.I. released 3 Kings (2008 Hevehitta). The following January, Ludacris and Birkedal Hartmann’s Philippe B. Tiffon developed a new cognac, Conjure. The Conjure: A Hustler's Spirit mix album (2010), referenced the beverage. In 2010, Ludacris released Battles of the Sexes (2010 Def Jam). Originally intended to be a project involving both he and Shawnna, after she left DTP, it became a solo album. Currently Ludacris is working on Ludaversal, set for a 2013 release.



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