On Thursday (April 7), Ashanti unveiled her deserving star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame—a moment her mother/manager Tina Douglas manifested for her in her youth. “She really had that feeling as a mother to say, ‘My child is gonna get this.’ She manifested it and I’m forever grateful,” Ashanti expressed to Billboard.
Douglas even brought the original star she created for her daughter to the ceremony, celebrating the full-circle moment.
Longtime collaborator and friend Ja Rule couldn’t stop grinning as he hugged the singer and spoke about their relationship. “Man, where do we start? This is such a big, big moment. Such a big day and I’m so happy and proud to be here, to share this with you. We’re shared so many moments together, but this one is such a special moment,” he began.
“Getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, you know, that’s the top of the top when you a celebrity […] I’ve known Ashanti [for] over 20 years and I remember her when I first met her. She didn’t look like this. She had a hoodie on, and she had her pen and she was just in that studio dedicated to this art and this craft we call music.”
Tichina Arnold also spoke on her relationship with Ashanti, first having bonded while working together on the Broadway rendition of The Wiz in 2009. The Martin actress shared, “I’ve been in show business for 44 years now and you meet a lot of people along the way, but when I met you, you don’t just come with yourself. It’s who surrounds you. You have been lifted up. You’ve been surrounded by the love of God and the love of your family which is why you are standing on this stage today […] Very rarely do you meet very genuine people.”
Likewise, Ashanti told Billboard, “With Tichina, it was so important to have a Black woman representing and continuing that narrative of women empowerment.”
The R&B icon was commemorated 20 years after her debut solo album. Her eponymous LP premiered at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and charted for 55 weeks. It also garnered a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records with the most albums sold by any debut female artist in SoundScan history.
Ashanti’s star was dedicated in the category of Recording and is located at 7060 Hollywood Boulevard. Watch the full stream above. The ceremony begins near the 15:30 mark.