Wave Wire Services
HOLLYWOOD — The two latest entertainers to be added to the Hollywood Walk of Fame both have musical backgrounds.
Singer Ashanti was honored April 7 for a career that has included a string of hits and eight Grammy nominations.
Four days later, hip-hop music producer DJ Khaled was honored for a career that has included six albums and four singles that topped the charts, along with four Grammy nominations.
Longtime collaborator Ja Rule and actress Tichina Arnold were among those joining Ashanti at her ceremony at 7060 Hollywood Blvd., near the Hollywood Roosevelt hotel.
Ashanti was a guest vocalist on Ja Rule’s “Always on Time,” her first Hot 100 number one single and his second. She also was featured on Ja Rule’s 2004 song “Wonderful,” which peaked at fifth on the Billboard Hot 100.
The ceremony came five days after the 20th anniversary of the release of her self-titled debut studio album, which earned her a best contemporary R&B album Grammy and was ranked 100th on Billboard’s list of the top 200 albums of the decade.
“Ashanti” debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 and first on the R&B/hip-hop albums chart with first-week sales of 504,593 units, the biggest first-week sales for a female artist’s debut.
Ashanti received four other Grammy nominations in 2003 — best new artist, which was won by Norah Jones, best female R&B vocal performance for “Foolish”; and twice for best rap/sung collaboration for “Always on Time” and “What’s Luv?”
She also received three Grammy nominations in 2004 — best female R&B vocal performance for “Rain On Me,” best R&B song for “Rock Wit U (Awww Baby)” and best contemporary R&B album for “Chapter II.”
Born Ashanti Shequoiya Douglas on Oct. 13, 1980, in Glen Cove, New York, on Long Island, she was first noticed by Irv Gotti, a co-founder of Murder Inc. Records, because of her vocal skills and was asked to pen hooks for his rap artists and to perform with them in duets. Ashanti was first featured as a background vocalist on rapper Big Pun’s 2001 single, “How We Roll.”
Ashanti’s acting credits include portraying Dorothy in the 2005 sports drama, “Coach Carter,” the 2005 made-for-television movie, “The Muppets’ Wizard of Oz” and appearances on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch,” “Army Wives,” and “American Dreams,” portraying Dionne Warwick.
Khaled was joined by frequent collaborator Fat Joe, Sean Combs and Jay-Z at the April 11 ceremony at 6212 Hollywood Blvd., next to Amoeba Music.
Combs and Fat Joe were featured in a 2010 remix of Khaled’s “All I Do Is Win.”
“This right here, my star, I want my star to represent the light, the love that shines on everybody,” Khaled told the crowd.
Born Khaled Mohammed Khaled on Nov. 26, 1975, in New Orleans, he started to learn how to DJ in the garage of his family house in Orlando, Florida, when he was 13. He began co-hosting a program on Miami radio station WEDR-FM (99.9) in 1998 with Luther Campbell, best known as the leader of the rap group 2 Live Crew.
Khaled’s debut album “Listennn… the Album” was released in 2006, reaching third on Billboard’s rap and R&B/hip-hop charts. His second album, “We the Best” released in 2007, was second on both charts.
In 2011, Khaled had his first No. 1 single, “I’m on One,” which featured Drake, Rick Ross and Lil Wayne, which also brought him his first Grammy nomination. He also had his first No. 1 album in 2011, “We the Best Forever.”
Each of Khaled’s five latest albums have topped a chart, “I Changed a Lot” (2015), “Major Key” (2016), “Grateful” (2017), “Father of Asahd” (2019) and “Khaled Khaled” (2021). His other chart-topping singles are “I’m the One” and “Wild Thoughts” (both released in 2017) and “Popstar” (2020).
Khaled won the best rap/sung performance Grammy in 2020 for “Higher,” which featured vocals by Nipsey Hussle and John Legend on the piano. The Grammy came nearly 10 months after Hussle was shot to death.
Khaled’s other Grammy nominations came in 2016 for best rap album for “Major Key,” and 2021 for his contributions to H.E.R.’s “Back Of My Mind,” which received an album of the year nomination.