Ludacris has been a seminal figure in pop culture for the past two decades. Whether through his music, his business ventures, or his film career, the entertainer, born Christopher Bridges, continues to find success seemingly wherever he turns.
Tonight, Ludacris co-hosted the 2017 Billboard Music Awards opposite actress Vanessa Hudgens. It will be his fourth consecutive year as host, so to commemorate this annual honor, here are five fast facts you need to know about Luda’s net worth.
1. He’s Sold 24 Million Albums Worldwide
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Ludacris has an estimated net worth of $25 million. This was initially due to his impressive rap career, as he ranked among the most popular hip-hop artists of the 2000s. After studying music management at Georgia State University, Ludacris broke into the mainstream with his major label debut Back For The First Time in 2000, which sold over three million copies on the strength of the singles “What’s Your Fantasy?” and “Southern Hospitality.”
From there, Luda continued his success with albums like Word of Mouf (2001), Chicken-n-Beer (2003), and The Red Light District (2004), each of which were certified double platinum and spawned top 10 Billboard hits like “Move B*tch,” “Splash Waterfalls,” “Pimpin’ All Over The World,” and “Stand Up,” which peaked at number one. Between Ludacris’ eight studio albums, he has won three Grammy Awards and sold over 24 million units worldwide.
2. He Co-Founded His Own Record Label
Despite the massive exposure Ludacris received as a rapper, he never lost sight of his music management degree, and would start his own record label Disturbing tha Peace in 2000. Alongside his manager Chaka Zulu and Jeff Dixon, Luda created Disturbing tha Peace as an independent label for musicians that were based out of Atlanta, also referred to as the “Dirty South.” This led to major releases from R&B singer Bobby Valentino, as well as rappers Shawnna and Chingy, whose debut album Jackpot sold over 2.8 million copies in 2003 and was certified platinum.
Disturbing tha Peace continues to be a hub for Southern artists in the 2010s, as recent Ludacris albums like Battles of the Sexes (2010) and Ludaversal (2015), as well as newcomer Adrian Marcel— whose debut single “2. AM” was certified gold in 2014– have shown.
3. He Pays $2K A Month In Child Support
Ludacris’ daughter Cai Bella Bridges was caught in a nasty court battle in 2015, when her mother Tamika Fuller demanded that Luda pay her $15,000 a month in child support. According to The Libertarian Republic, Fuller even testified in court that Ludacris wanted an abortion initially, and offered to pay for it. Despite these claims, however, the judge ultimately ruled in the rapper’s favor, deeming Fuller’s demands to be outrageous, and that she had no means of supporting Cai Bella herself.
Ludacris was awarded full custody of his daughter, and the child support total was significantly brought down from $15,000 to $2,000 a month. “After review of all the evidence, the testimony of the witness, the report of the guardians, ad litem, and the claims made throughout this entire case,” Ludacris told People Magazine, “I am gratified that the judge found me to be the most fit and proper parent to have primary physical custody of our beautiful daughter.” Ludacris has two other children, including one with his wife Eudoxie Mbouguiengue.
4. He Runs His Own Non-profit Foundation
In addition to his various business ventures, Ludacris is also the driving force behind his namesake charity, The Ludacris Foundation. According to Billboard, the nonprofit organization was founded by Luda and his mother Roberta Shields in 2001 as a means to inspire young people to live their dreams by “promoting leadership, education, and healthy lifestyles.”
“Every year it feels like a homecoming,” Ludacris told Billboard, “This has always been about helping the community and the next generation of kids coming up.” In 2015 alone, The Ludacris Foundation raised over $250,000. The entertainer also holds an annual event called LudaDay Weekend, a citywide fundraiser that brings together various celebrities in the name of charity. In addition to his foundation, Ludacris is the co-owner of Conjure Cognac liquor and the Chicken-n-Beer restaurant in Atlanta, named after his third album.
5. His Films Have Grossed Over $5 Billion
While Ludacris may not go down as the most acclaimed actor, there’s little denying the box office success that his films has earned over the years. After debuting in the cult classic The Wash (2001), Luda hit paydirt by playing Tej Parker in 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)– a character that would go on to appear in five of the eight Fast & Furious installments. To date, the racing franchise has grossed over $5 billion worldwide.
In a 2015 interview with Screen Rant, Luda spoke on the impact Fast & Furious has had on his career: “It was definitely a surprise and I’m just humbled to be a part of this franchise. Gotta love that. No one thought it would be successful enough to make it to seven. Not it’s literally one of the most successful franchises in movie history.” In addition to Fast & Furious, Ludacris has appeared in the 2005 dramas Hustle & Flow and Crash, the latter of which earned him critical praise and went on to win Best Picture at the 78th Academy Awards.