Wave Wire Services
HOLLYWOOD — Radio host “Big Boy” cried several times during a 15-minute speech Sept. 8 at the unveiling of his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Big Boy began his speech with the warning, “I’m about to be on an emotional rollercoaster” and explained, “I laugh on the air but I cry at things like this.”
He cried when he recalled his late mother, Ida, the times his family was homeless and the promise he fulfilled to her to buy her a house so she would never again be evicted.
Big Boy also cried when he recalled his late brother Keith.
“You taught me so much about music,” said Big Boy, who was born Kurt Alexander on Sept. 8, 1969 in Chicago. “You made me love the sound of music. You made me love the notes, they lyrics, the credits.
“Everything that I love about music is because of what you taught me about music.”
Big Boy also said his brother “taught me how to be a man.”
Big Boy recalled visiting the Walk of Fame as a youth with his friend Frankie and having to walk home to West Los Angeles “because we didn’t have enough money to catch the bus to get home.”
Big Boy also thanked an extensive list of present and past co-workers, five other siblings and then-Power 106 program director Rick Cummings, who gave him his start in radio despite not having any experience.
Rapper Dr. Dre, comedian George Lopez and Los Angeles Councilman Mitch O’Farrell preceded Big Boy in speaking at the ceremony in front of Amoeba Music on Hollywood Boulevard which coincided with his 52nd birthday.
Big Boy is a member of the National Radio Hall of Fame, was selected as Personality of the Year four times by the Radio Music Awards and three times by Radio and Records magazine and is a three-time recipient of the Marconi Award from the National Association of Broadcasters as the major market Personality of the Year.
Big Boy moved to California when he was 2 years old. He went from being a DJ at parties to a bodyguard for the alternative hip-hop group The Pharcyde.
A friendship with the Baka Boyz, the morning show hosts at Power 106, led to Big Boy becoming a nighttime host at the rhythmic contemporary station in 1994. He moved to afternoon drive time in the summer of 1995 and to morning drive time in late 1997 with a show titled “Big Boy’s Neighborhood.”
Big Boy remained at Power 106 through 2015, when he joined Real 92.3. His show is syndicated nationally by Premiere Networks. A two-hour version is broadcast by the digital cable network FM.
Big Boy was a guest host on the CBS afternoon talk show “The Talk” from 2013-18. He appeared in the films “The Longest Yard” and “Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo” and had a recurring role in the 2002-03 Fox crime drama “Fastlane.”
Big Boy got his nickname because at one time he weighed more than 400 pounds. He underwent duodenal switch surgery in 2003, leading to a weight loss of more than 250 pounds. The weight loss inspired the title of his 2011 autobiography, “An XL Life: Staying Big at Half the Size.”