Ludacris Talks Influential, Brand Innovators & Urban One Cannes Bash

Ludacris pulled out all the stops for a showstopping performance at Influential, Brand Innovators & Urban One’s party during the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

Ludacris, 46, performed a one-hour set during the ONE Night happy hour on Wednesday, June 19.

“I started with Urban One [as a DJ in Atlanta],” the Grammy winner exclusively told Us Weekly. “I started on the radio station 97.5, which is now 107.9, and that’s where I got my start. They provided a platform for me to be authentically myself and from there I was able to evolve and grow and get signed and different things.”

He continued, “This is a full circle moment for me coming back and having a chat and being able to perform for the company that I started with.”

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In addition to his performance, Ludacris also spoke at a Cannes Lions panel with Alfred Liggins, the CEO of Urban One, which is the largest Black-owned content company in the United States. The organization’s goal is to represent Black culture boldly, courageously and unapologetically. The talk was cohosted by Influential at its Influential Beach Presented by Brand Innovators.

Ludacris Breaks Down Performance at Cannes Lions Bash by Influential
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During the conversation, Ludacris and Liggins touched on representation, Black excellence and history. The event took place on Juneteenth, a federal holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the U.S., to showcase the importance of investing in the Black audience. Just as Urban One prioritizes its connections with Black consumers, Ludacris spoke to Us about the importance of representation.

“[It’s] because of the culture and how many trends that this culture sets and just having your ear to the street,” he said on Wednesday. “You can see that hip hop is international. It all started from different places and … can venture out, but understanding where I came from and where I started with Urban One and how it’s affected the rest of the world. It influenced the rest of the world that’s why it’s important because these type of media companies, especially being Black-owned in this particular sense, is what provided opportunities for me to do what I needed.”

Ludacris Breaks Down Performance at Cannes Lions Bash by Influential
Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

Ahead of his set, Ludacris also gave Us insight into his pre-show ritual.

“Listen, we are in France right now. They got the best wines so we got the best bottles [and] the best years of each bottle and we back there drinking and having a good time,” he said. “I got my wife [Eudoxie Mbouguiengue] here with me, so we just here with friends catching up. She speaks full French [and is] talking to everybody [and] she’s translating for me.”

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