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Ludacris' father, Wayne Brian Bridges, died on Sunday, just weeks after the rapper dedicated his Grammy for best rap album, Release Therapy, and informed the audience that his father was fighting for his life in the hospital.
"Mr. Wayne Bridges, I love you to death," he said at the ceremony. Ludacris, whose real name is Chris Bridges, won another Grammy for best rap song, "Moneymaker."
"We are overwhelmed by the generous outpouring of love, codolences and support from family members, friends, fans and the many well-wishers," said a statement released by the family. "We thank you for your prayers and hope you will understand our need for privacy during this sorrowful time."
The statement also said that Ludacris was greatly influenced by his father, who exposed him to music at an early age.
Barry Florence, Ludacris' publicist, said the elder Bridges died at an Atlanta hospital, but the family prefers to keep the cause of death and funeral information private.