02/26/2007 at 07:00 PM EST
Wayne Bridges, the father of rapper Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, died on Sunday at age 52 – just two weeks after his son dedicated a Grammy victory to him.
"We are overwhelmed by the generous outpouring of love, condolences and support from family members, friends, fans and the many well wishers," the family said in a statement. "We thank you for your prayers and hope you will understand our need for privacy during this sorrowful time."
The Atlanta-based Ludacris, 29, won for best rap album at the Feb. 11 Grammy Awards. In his acceptance speech, he thanked his then-seriously ill father and dedicated the award to him.
"I just told millions of people that their prayers are appreciated," Ludacris later said backstage. "He is the reason I am in this music field today. When I was young, how many different genres of different music he used to play for me. So you know, my appreciation for music definitely goes to him and that's why I dedicated my award to him."