Recording artist, actor, philanthropist, restaurateur…just a few of the befitting titles for Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, who first gained worldwide acclaim more than 10 years ago with his debut album, Back for the First Time (2000). Ever since, his unrivaled lyrical prowess, dynamic performances and timeless hits including “Stand Up,” “Get Back,”, “Number One Spot,” “Money Maker,” and “My Chick Bad,” have solidified him as one of music’s best entertainers and led to the sale of more than 20 million albums domestically. With the 2013 release of LUDAVERSAL, fans can look forward to more great music from Ludacris. In addition to immense commercial success, Ludacris’ consistent output of stellar music has garnered the admiration of his peers, as well as numerous awards and honors including three Grammys.
The same talent and versatility that Ludacris showcases in his music has enabled him to make a seamless and successful transition to acting, with acclaimed performances in films including Crash, Hustle & Flow and the #1 movie, No Strings Attached in January 2011, and television’s Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, under his belt. His work in Crash earned him the prestigious Screen Actors Guild and Critics’ Choice awards. He co-starred in The Fast & The Furious film series, Fast Five, which debuted at #1 in April 2011 and in May 2013, he will co-star in the latest installment of the series, Fast Six.
In addition to his non-stop efforts in the studio, on stage and on the big and small screens, Ludacris’ long held entrepreneurial spirit led him to open a restaurant, Straits, in Atlanta, GA in 2008 which he closed after 2 years in business to concentrate on the opening of his new restaurant, Chicken n Beer, which opens in Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, Concourse D in 2013. Along with launching his own spirit, Conjure Cognac in 2009, Ludacris also entered into a partnership to launch SOUL by Ludacris headphones, which entered into the market in the summer of 2011. Both of these ventures have captured the attention and affection of the public and firmly established themselves in their respective markets in a short time.
Although one could wonder how Ludacris finds the time for anything outside of work, his artistic and business fortitude is only rivaled by his desire to give back and use his success to change the lives of others. This passion inspired him to establish the Ludacris Foundation, a non-profit organization which seeks to inspire youth through education and memorable experiences to live their dreams by uplifting families, communities and fostering economic development.
In 2010, MSNBC.com named Ludacris, along with other eminent figures such as Oprah Winfrey and Warren Buffet, as one of today’s most effective influencers on American culture. With his feet firmly planted in so many diverse areas, we can certainly see why.