Ashanti Lives Her ‘Dream’ as She Receives Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame
R&B star Ashanti was officially commemorated with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Thursday morning (April 7) — a feat her mom, famous momager Tina Douglas, predicted decades ago.
“It’s surreal,” Ashanti told Billboard, moments after unveiling her star and taking photos with longtime friends and collaborators Tichina Arnold and Ja Rule. “I’m stunned, shocked and overwhelmed. This is a constant in my career, and the fact it will stay there forever is huge .”
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The historic honor comes 20 years after the release of Ashanti’s self-titled debut studio album, which premiered at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and charted for 55 weeks. The Grammy-winner and actress has since released 18 Hot 100 tracks, including two No. 1 hits.
” I’m not an emotional person so it was a bit strange that I cried a bit today,” Ashanti laughed. “I am so grateful to have family, friends and genuine people supporting me that .”
,” Ashanti said.
Ashanti was surrounded by her family, Tina and KenKaide Thomas Douglas, her sister Kenashia Douglas and Lupita Cornejo. She was also accompanied by her team, many of her loved ones, and fans. During her acceptance speech, she thanked all of them and referred to her family as her foundation.
” It’s surreal that my mom could bring this to life,” the star said. “She had that feeling as mother to say, “My child is going to get this,” and I’m forever grateful .”
Previously, Ashanti’s mother showed the public a photo of her original star that she had created for her daughter. Ashanti proudly stated, “I didn’t know she still had that star.”
” I’m grateful to [Hollywood Chamber of Commerce] because as artists, it takes so much to make it work, so to feel like we are being rewarded [lasts] forever with something is an honor .”
As for having the support of her famous friends Arnold and Ja Rule, Ashanti told Billboard, “Those are my people. Ja is my brother, together we have made history and it wouldn’t be the same without them .”
The pair’s 2001 song “Always On Time” became a No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 hit and charted for 27 weeks.
Ashanti bonded with Arnold while performing on The Wiz. “With Tichina, it was so important to have a Black woman representing and continuing that narrative of women empowerment.”
After Ashanti’s star ceremony, her family and friends joined her at Tatel Beverly Hills for an intimate, lavish lunch, presented by PrettyLittleThing. Many shared their thoughts and funny stories about the Billboard Music Award-winner.
After listening to the kind words, memories and laughter, Ashanti shared her message. “My family has been my support system since the beginning. It didn’t happen by accident that I woke up one day and decide to be a singer or star. But I have learned so much .”
from being in this industry for so many years.
She briefly cried again, thanking God and her supporters. “I’ve had many people betray me and stab me, so to be here enjoying the moment, I appreciate your belief in me .”
” Without the machine behind me I would not have been here,” Ashanti said. “I can live the life I want. This star signifies that I did something right .”
Watch Ashanti’s Hollywood Walk of Fame Star Ceremony below:
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