Ludacris Hosts HIV/AIDS Fundraising Event in Atlanta

Ludacris may be hard at work to deliver an album of new music for fans, but the rapper/actor is finding time to use his celebrity status for two charity events.

Ludacris will celebrate the grand opening of his new restaurant, Straits Atlanta, with a $100 a plate private dinner.

Those who attend the April 24 fundraiser will feast on the upscale eatery’s Singapore cuisine, while raising money for HIV and AIDS research.

"Although I’ve been busy recording my new album Theatre of the Mind and finishing up my latest film, I’m happy to take one day out of my busy schedule to handle my other responsibilities," Ludacris told "I want to touch the people before I get back on the music grind, and this is a way for me to do just that.”

Ludacris’ $2.7 million restaurant, which will be located in Midtown Atlanta, is a joint venture between the rapper and Chef Chris Yeo.

In addition to Singapore cuisine, Straits Atlanta, will incorporate Georgian ingredients into food served at the restaurant.

The Straits Atlanta opening event will be followed by a second fundraiser at Atlanta’s Lenox Square Mall. Ludacris, along with his manager Chaka Zulu and R&B song bird Ciara, will be on hand for an exclusive shopping event at the Ralph Lauren store, on the same day as the restaurant opening.

Proceeds will go to the rapper’s Ludacris Foundation. For Ludacris, the fundraisers offer a chance to go beyond music and acting to make a real differences.

“The community and making a difference will always be a part of my life and I wouldn't have it any other way,” Ludacris said.

The 2008 fundraiser marks the second year for the event, which raised more than $200,000 last year for the Foundation.