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Ludacris Reveals Why His Family Won't Be Joining Him as He Hosts the 2024 iHeartRadio Music Awards (Exclusive)

The rap icon, who will also perform at the awards show, tells PEOPLE about making his next album and the dream artist he'd still like to collaborate with

<p>Prince Williams/WireImage</p> Ludacris in Atlanta in February 2024

Prince Williams/WireImage

Ludacris in Atlanta in February 2024

Get out the way, it's almost time for Ludacris to host the 2024 iHeartRadio Music Awards!

The rap icon, 46, is no stranger to emceeing awards shows, but this year marks his first time handling hosting duties for the iHeartRadio Music Awards — "but hopefully it won't be the last," he tells PEOPLE.

Ludacris will also perform at the ceremony, set to go down at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on Monday, while other stars including Justin TimberlakeGreen DayTLCJelly RollLainey Wilson and Tate McRae will bring their hits to life on stage.

Related: Avril Lavigne, Jennifer Hudson, JoJo Siwa, Katy Perry and More to Make Appearances at 2024 iHeartRadio Music Awards

<p>iheart Radio</p> Ludacris

iheart Radio

Ludacris

But that's not all: Cher is set to receive this year's Icon Award with a special musical tribute, Beyoncé will receive the Innovator Award and both Green Day and TLC are set to take home iHeartRadio Landmark Awards.

Earlier this week, iHeartRadio revealed the show will additionally feature special appearances from Avril LavigneJennifer Hudson, JoJo SiwaKaty Perry, GloRillaJared Leto, Latto, Meghan TrainorMeryl StreepNiecy Nash-BettsPeso Pluma, Ravi Patel, Stevie WonderT-Pain, Vella Lovell and more.

Ahead of the 2024 iHeartRadio Music Awards airing on FOX at 8 p.m. ET on Monday, Ludacris caught up with PEOPLE about the hosting gig, his recent Super Bowl performance with Usher and Lil Jon, fatherhood and upcoming music.

<p>John Parra/Getty</p> Ludacris performing in Miami in December 2023

John Parra/Getty

Ludacris performing in Miami in December 2023

How do you feel leading up to your first time hosting the iHeartRadio Music Awards, and what energy are you going to be bringing to the table?

When it comes to iHeart, it's all about energy. It's all about [viewers] seeing their favorite artists. It's about blowing the roof off of this venue, man. I think that it's just going to be fun because you have a great variety of people in here as well, so it should be good. And it's right after Easter, so come on, man.

It's shaping up to be massive with Beyoncé and Cher both set to accept major awards. What are you most looking forward to about the show itself?

The variety. I love that you got Jelly Roll on here, you got Lainey Wilson, you got Justin Timberlake. I'm not only hosting, but humbly speaking, I'm also performing. I just want to be a part of greatness. It's so much talent, so much energy and so much stuff to look forward to — and some surprises as well.

Related: Ludacris Says He'll 'Definitely' Release New Music in 2024 After 'Taking a Step Back' and 'Living Some Life'

Jared C. Tilton/Getty Ludacris in Miami in May 2023
Jared C. Tilton/Getty Ludacris in Miami in May 2023

You’ve spoken recently about making new music. What can we expect from your performance — classics, new music or any surprises?

Man, we're going to get classics for now, just because when it comes to iHeart, you only have a certain amount of time, so you want to hit them with the hits and make sure you leave them wanting more.

Will you bring out any guests?

I don't know. It depends. That could be a surprise as well. We shall see.

Will your family be joining you at the ceremony on Monday?

Because it's Easter, my family had plans to be elsewhere, so unfortunately they won't be with me this particular timeframe.

<p>Gilbert Flores/Variety/Getty </p> Ludacris, Cadence, Cai, Karma, Chance and Eudoxie Bridges

Gilbert Flores/Variety/Getty

Ludacris, Cadence, Cai, Karma, Chance and Eudoxie Bridges

How has life as a father been lately? You have daughters ranging from toddlers to 20-somethings, so I imagine it's always eventful.

It's beautiful, man, when you can bring everybody together and your youngest is inspired by your oldest, and your oldest is now the person helping to take care of the young. I love having the range. It’s great. My oldest will be graduating from college soon. So, [family life is full of] accomplishments and success and just love.

Related: Usher and Ludacris Celebrate 'Yeah!' Going 13 Times Platinum After Super Bowl: 'Thank U to Everyone Who Ever Pressed Play'

In February, you were a special guest with Lil Jon at Usher’s Super Bowl halftime show to perform "Yeah!," which then became certified 13-times platinum. How did that moment feel, celebrating that massive record?

It’s one thing to make history with people that you know. It’s another thing to make history with friends, people you've known for so long. It is a different feeling, man. I don't even know how to describe it. You want to do things with people that you love, and you want to make that type of history with those individuals.

Are you still getting comments about the halftime show? Do people come up to you in public?

Absolutely. Funny enough, whatever is the latest thing that I've done, whenever people see me in public, that's what they address. But the Super Bowl has a little bit of a lasting effect, for sure. They'll be like, "Oh, I just saw that movie you did. What's up, Luda? Oh, I just heard that song, that feature. You killed that. Oh, I just saw you on Super Bowl." Whatever the latest thing is I've done, that's how people address me. It is a beautiful thing.

<p>Kevin Mazur/Getty</p> Ludacris, Usher, and Lil Jon perform during the Super Bowl in Las Vegas in February 2024

Kevin Mazur/Getty

Ludacris, Usher, and Lil Jon perform during the Super Bowl in Las Vegas in February 2024

It's been nine years since your last album, Ludaversal, came out. Does that timespan create any pressure as you make your next project?

It does, but at the same time, it's good to take that time off. For someone who has over nine albums, I feel like it's good to take that time off when you know you have more to give, but you have to pull from real life in order to truly reinvigorate, reinvent and reinforce the foundational elements of what Ludacris can do and what more I have to give. It becomes more and more difficult the more albums you come out with. So, in order to really dig deep, I just needed to take the time off to reinvigorate myself and pour full into this cup that has a lot more to give now.

You've collaborated with so many artists throughout your career, from Usher and Lil Jon to Fergie and Justin Bieber. Is there anyone you’d still like to work with?

I never did get a chance to collab with Justin Timberlake. That would be dope. Congratulations to him on his new album. You know, Fergie... They was just talking about how Adam Sandler is coming out with Happy Gilmore 2, and these classic, classic movies are now, 10, 15, 20 years later, just doing a sequel. We need to do the same thing with some of these collaborations that are considered as legendary as well. I think that's a great idea.

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