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Name at birth: Christopher Bridges

Ludacris is the stage name of Chris Bridges, a rapper and actor from Atlanta, Georgia who became a video and radio star after the success of his 2000 album Back for the First Time. Bridges began his career as a radio DJ in Atlanta, where he was known on the air as Chris Lova Lova. His self-produced record, Incognegro, led to a contract with the Def Jam South record label and was remade into Back for the First Time. His second release, Word of Mouf (2001), was also a hit, and Ludacris rose in the ranks of young rappers in radio and MTV rotation. Ludacris released Chicken and Beer in 2003 and embarked on an acting career in a small role in the feature film 2 Fast 2 Furious (starring Paul Walker). He also appeared as Skinny Black in the movie Hustle and Flow (2005, starring Terrence Howard) and had a small role in the drama Crash (2004, with Don Cheadle). He changed his look in 2006 and presented himself as having grown from "the clown prince of rap" into a mature musical artist and actor. He released a new album, Release Therapy (with the single "Money Maker"), and landed a role in the Guy Ritchie film RocknRolla (2008, along with Jeremy PIven).

His career got a boost in 2002 when TV’s Bill O’Reilly expressed outrage that Pepsi had hired Ludacris as a spokesman. O’Reilly criticized Ludacris’s foul language and called for a boycott of Pepsi, who then fired Ludacris and hired Ozzy Osbourne‘s family instead… Ludacris has collaborated in the studio with several other hip-hop stars, including Missy Elliott, 50 Cent, Mariah Carey and Mary J. Blige… He has toured with Busta Rhymes and Eminem.

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