Female singers receive stars on Walk of Fame

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Wave Wire Services

HOLLYWOOD — Two diverse female singers were honored in the past week with stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Latina singer Ana Gabriel was honored Nov. 3 and four-time Grammy winning rapper, singer, songwriter and record producer Missy Elliott was honored Nov. 8.

Gabriel was honored for a career that has included seven singles and three albums reaching the top of the Billboard Latin pop charts.

Many years ago, my parents and I were walking along this boulevard and we were fascinated looking [at] the names on the stars,” Gabriel said. “I [felt] something in my chest, in my heart, and I said, ‘Mom, one day, I don’t know when, but one day my name will be here. One day I will have my own star.’ Today, that dream has now come true.”

Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Latin entertainment news correspondent Jessica Maldonado and Henry Cardenas, CEO of the Cardenas Marketing Network, were among those joining Gabriel at the ceremony at 6623 Hollywood Blvd. in front of Ballet Hollywood.

It is hard to put into words and express what the Hollywood star means to me,” Gabriel told City News Service prior to the ceremony. “There is a great sense of achievement, gratefulness, and accomplishment after many years of work, sacrifice, discipline and a promise made to my parents many years ago. It is a happy feeling deep in my heart.”

Singing in the mariachi, ranchero and pop genres and romantic ballads, Gabriel has released 28 studio albums, 19 compilation albums and three live albums, selling more than 40 million records worldwide.

Her best-selling album is “Mi Mexico,” a ranchera-influenced, mariachi-backed pop album released in 1991, which included a tribute to Mexico’s most popular singer-songwriter, Juan Gabriel, and opened the doors to her career in Europe.

Gabriel is a 13-time winner at the Lo Nuestro Awards, which honor the best of Latin music, receiving its Excellence Award in 2006. Gabriel has received four Latin Grammy nominations and a Grammy nomination in 1990 for best Latin pop performance for “Quien como tu.”

Gabriel said she considers the highlight of her career “not to get to the top but to stay atop for 46-plus years.”

I am fortunate to be an artist that has been able to move and evolve with the times,” Gabriel told City News Service. “It’s taken discipline, hard work and being committed 100% to a record label like Sony Music, who has supported my career for a long time.

However, it would not have been the same without the commitment to my fans — around the world, far and near — who have inherited my music from generation to generation.”

Born Dec. 10, 1955, in the small town of Guamuchil in the Mexican state of Sinaloa, Gabriel’s family encouraged her singing and musical ability beginning when she was very young, staging re-enactments of a popular radio show where she would play the first three notes from a song and her family would guess what song it was.

Gabriel first performed on stage when she was 6 years old, singing “Regalo de Dios” by the ranchera singer-songwriter Jose Alfredo Jimenez. She recorded her first song on Dec. 15, 1974.

Like Gabriel, Elliott said she imagined what it would be like to one day receive a star when she was younger.

“Twenty some years ago, [I] used to walk past all these stars and just imagine,” she said. And it’s just a blessing to dream big, and it truly happened.”

Ciara, Lizzo and Elliott’s manager Mona Scott-Young were among those joining her at the ceremony outside the new location of Amoeba Music on Hollywood Boulevard. 

Other stars for other music personalities will also be placed outside the store, Ana Martinez, the Walk of Fame’s producer told City News Service.

Born Melissa Arnette Elliott on July 1, 1971, in Portsmouth, Virginia, Elliott began her career in 1991 when she formed the all-female R&B group Fayze, with her neighborhood friend Timothy Mosley, who would later be known as the rapper and singer Timbaland, serving as the group’s producer.

Elliott and Timbaland created an innovative, idiosyncratic sound, heard on a score of hits for the late R&B, pop and hip-hop artist Aaliyah, including “One In A Million,” “If Only Your Girl Knew” and “Hot Like Fire,” along with such chart-topping favorites as R&B vocal trio SWV’s “Can We,” the girl group 702’s “Where My Girls At?” Destiny’s Child’s “Confessions” and Whitney Houston’s “In My Business.”

Elliott’s 1997 solo debut album “Supa Dupa Fly,” achieved platinum status from the Recording Industry Association of America. All of her other five studio albums achieved platinum status or better.

Elliott won Grammys for best rap solo performance for “Get Ur Freak On” in 2002, for best female rap solo performance for “Scream a.k.a. Itchin’” in 2003 and “Work It” in 2004 and best short from music video for “Lose Control” in 2006.

Elliott performed “Get Ur Freak On” and “Work It,” at halftime of the Super Bowl in 2015.

Elliott’s other honors include becoming the first female hip-hop artist to receive the MTV Video Music Awards’ Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, the first female hip-hop artist and third rapper inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and receiving an honorary doctor of music degree from the Berklee College of Music, all in 2019.

Elliott received the 2021 BET Hip Hop Award for video director of the year for the music video for “Twerkulator” by the City Girls.

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