‘ONE OF MY HEROES:’ Tupac Shakur  honored with star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

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By Ariyana Griffin

Contributing Writer 

HOLLYWOOD — Legendary rapper, activist, poet and actor Tupac Shakur posthumously received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame June 7, nine days before what would have been his 52nd birthday. 

Hollywood Boulevard was blocked off in front of Amoeba Music so fans could watch the star be unveiled and celebrate with his friends and family during the ceremony. 

“I love his music,” said Joseph P, one of the fans in attendance. “I just about bought all his albums. He’s one of my heroes.” 

“Tupac Shakur is an internationally recognized artist, renowned for his work,” said iHeartMedia Radio personality Big Boy, who emceed the ceremony. “He defied distinction between art and activism. Though his career lasted just five years, Tupac Shakur remains one of the most complex and prolific artists of his generation.

“With over 75 million records sold worldwide, his albums ‘All Eyes On Me’ and his ‘Greatest Hits’ collection have been certified Diamond surpassing the 10 million mark [in sales].”

The late legend’s sister, Sekyiwa “Set” Shakur, accepted his star and with much emotion, spoke about his legacy and determination to be a star. 

“Tupac knew deep down that he was always meant for something great, and as his little sister I had the privilege to watch that greatness unfold,” she said. “From the first time he stepped foot on the stage of the Apollo Theater at 13 years old, before anyone recognized his name, he knew he had the dream to have a star here on the Walk of Fame.”  

Raised by his mother, Afeni Shakur, a political activist and member of the Black Panther Party, in Baltimore, she was intent on escaping Baltimore’s violence, relocating to Marin City when he was 17.

Shakur connected with the popular Bay Area rap crew Digital Underground, starting as a roadie and back-up dancer, and eventually working his way up to contributing a verse to “Same Song” from the soundtrack for the comedy horror film “Nothing But Trouble.”

Shakur was signed by Interscope Records which released his first solo album, “2Pacalypse Now,” in 1991, which was certified gold by the recording industry trade group the Recording Industry Association of America for selling 923,455 units.

Shakur’s second studio album, “Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z” was certified platinum for selling more than 1 million copies.

Shakur’s third studio album, “Me Against the World” released in 1995 when he was serving a prison sentence for a sexual abuse conviction for forcibly touching a woman’s buttock in his hotel room. It received a Grammy nomination for best rap album, and its lead single, “Dear Mama,” was nominated for best rap solo performance.

“Me Against the World” was certified as double-platinum for selling more than 3.5 million copies.

Shakur’s fourth studio album, “All Eyez on Me,” released Feb. 13, 1996, seven months before his death, also received a best rap album Grammy nomination, while its singles “How Do U Want It” and “California Love” received nominations for best rap performance by a duo or group.

“All Eyez on Me” was the best-selling album in Shakur’s career, selling 5,887,630 units and was certified diamond.

Shakur received a posthumous best rap solo performance Grammy nomination in 2000 for “Changes,” part of his “Greatest Hits” album released in 1998. It also was certified diamond.

Shakur also was praised for his performances as an actor in the films “Juice,” “Poetic Justice,” “Above the Rim,” “Gridlock’d” and “Gang Related.”

In 2015, he was honored in the exhibit, “All Eyez On Me: The Writings of Tupac Shakur,” at the Grammy Museum near LA Live. 

In 2022 an entire museum in Los Angeles was dedicated to his legacy. The “Tupac Shakur: Wake Me When I’m Free” exhibit showcased his life from some of the early moments of his life through stardom. More recently a docuseries, “Dear Mama The Saga of Afeni and Tupac Shakur,” is available for streaming on FX and Hulu. 

“Tupac Amaru Shakur has become a global symbol of rebellion — a symbol as visible and important as Malcolm X and Che Guevara and an inspiration to activists today,” said Allen Hughes, the director of the FX docuseries.

Members of the Outlawz, a rap group created by Shakur, YG and Mike Epps were just a couple of celebrities who stopped by to join the celebration. 

Shakur was wounded in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas Sept. 7, 1996, and died six days later at age 25. The killing is unsolved. 

City News Service also contributed to this story.


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