11 Things You Didn't Know About Ludacris
Don't miss Ludacris as he hosts MTV's brand new series of Fear Factor, starting TONIGHT at 9pm - only on MTV!
If you haven't already heard, Fear Factor is BACK on our TV screens tonight (9pm on MTV, you don't want to miss it), with a whole new squad of competitors ready and waiting to conquer their biggest fears in the hopes of winning big - and we don't know about you, but we cannot wait to see just how crazy, terrifying and downright bonkers the new challenges are.
This brand new series also comes with a seriously awesome new host in the form of Ludacris, who's on hand to explain the rules and cheer all the teammates on (and to keep them all in check, of course).
Ahead on tonight's premiere, we're getting to know Ludacris a little better - so, here's what you might not know about our new Fear Factor host:
1. Ludacris' real name is Christopher Brian Bridges
In a Reddit Q&A a couple of years ago, Ludacris revealed that his stage name when he was ten or eleven years old used to be 'Kris Kringle', until he realised he 'could only rap about Christmas for so long'. Explaining why he chose his stage name to be Ludacris, he told fans: "My first name is 'Chris' and if you look in the dictionary under the term 'ludicrous' then it means 'crazy, wild, ridiculous' - which pretty much explains everything about me."
2. Before properly starting his rapping career, Ludacris worked as an intern and later a DJ for Atlanta's Hot 97.5 (as Chris Lova Lova)
In the same Reddit Q&A with his fans, Ludacris revealed that if he wasn't rapping now, he'd be working at a radio station. Oh, and as a child, he wanted to be an astronaut. There's still time, eh?
Bonus fact: Ludacris actually wrote his first rap song aged nine before later joining an amateur rap group.
3. His 2000 'debut' studio album 'Back For The First Time' charted at number four on the Billboard 200…
…However, before he made serious waves on the charts, he realised 'Ludacris Presents: Incognegro', which only peaked at number 179.
4. Ludacris is a businessman with an impressive empire
Aside from his music career, he's the co-owner and creator of Conjure Cognac liquor and the founder of his own record label named Disturbing tha Peace (under Def Jam Recordings).
He released his own headphones in 2011 and opened his Chicken + Beer restaurant at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, Atlanta in November 2016.
PLUS on top of all that, Ludacris collaborated with Puma in 2006 to release three limited edition 'Clyde x Luda' trainers:
5. He's also heavily involved in charity work
The rapper started The Ludacris Foundation with his mum Roberta Shields at the start of his career in 2001 to 'help youths help themselves' with four main programmes listed on their Facebook page - Leadership and Education, LudaCares, Living Healthy and Going Green.
On top of this, he organises annual LudaDay Weekends to help fundraise for the foundation, with this year marking the third annual 'The Grass Is Always Greener' celebrity golf fundraising tournament.
In 2015, Ludacris told Billboard: "Each year it feels like a homecoming. This has always been about helping the community and the next generation of kids coming up."
He's also helped with a huge number of other charity events, including partnering with Better World Books and DoSomething.org in 2011 for the Epic Book Drive to help collect over 250,000 books for school libraries to help students affected by 2005's Hurricane Katrina, helping build a playground for Venetian Hills Elementary School in Atlanta and donating $50,000 to help those in the Philippines who were affected by Typhoon Haiyan.
And that's just touching the surface of all the incredible work he's done.
6. Ludacris has three daughters…
He has Karma Bridges, 16, from a relationship with an Atlanta attorney. He also has Cai Bella, three (with ex Tamika Fuller) and Cadence Gaëlle Bridges, two, with wife Eudoxie, who he married in 2014.
Cute bonus: Ludacris has previously noted his children as some of his biggest inspirations for his music. N'aww!
7. Ludacris has released nine studio albums and one EP (along with many mixtapes, compilation albums and far, far too many singles to count)…
Battle Of The Sexes (2010), Release Therapy (2006), The Red Light District (2004) and Chicken 'n' Beer (2003) all peaked at the number one spot in the Billboard 200 chart, while in terms of singles, his 'Yeah' collaboration with Usher and Lil' John became his highest charting hit here in the UK Official Singles Chart in 2004.
He notes that his favourite album is Ludaversal (2015) because it's the 'most personal' album he's recorded.
8. He has a Screen Actors Guild Award to his name
Yep, as well as numerous music awards (including three Grammys), Ludacris and the rest of the cast of 2004's Crash picked up a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.
9. Ludacris turned down a role in American Gangster alongside Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe
Speaking to Billboard in 2015, Ludacris, who has starred in 19 films and various TV series and documentaries, revealed: "I make sacrifices all the time for music or moves, just because I'm focusing on one. I was supposed to be in [2007 film] American Gangster with Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe, but I turned it down so I could finish recording [2006 album] Release Therapy. And I actually won a Grammy for that album, so that's something I don't regret. I set out to win Best Rap Album that year, and that's what I did. I can guarantee I would not have the album turned in one time if I took a month to do that movie."
10. He always buys a car from every Fast & Furious movie he's in
Pretty cool, huh?
In fact, Ludacris' whole history with cars is seriously awesome, with the star revealing that he still drives his 1993 Acura Legend, admitting that having and driving it 'keeps him humble'.
11. He's hosting MTV's brand new Fear Factor!
Don't miss the brand new series, starting TONIGHT at 9pm - only on MTV! And watch sneak peeks from the premiere episode below:
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