Usher Raymond has become the 2,588th celebrity to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
“This is the first time in history that I’ve ever come in 2,588th place — and it felt like No. 1,” said the entertainer at his dedication ceremony Wednesday, attended by his family and friends, including celebs Stevie Wonder, Kelly Rowland, Miguel, will.i.am and Usher’s “Hands of Stone” co-star Edgar Ramirez.
The star is located at 6201 Hollywood Blvd., near the intersection of Hollywood & Vine.
Among the notables honoring Ursh were guest speakers Harvey Weinstein, co-chairman of the Weinstein Co., and Terry Lewis, a fellow Walk of Famer along with his music production partner Jimmy Jam.
Weinstein, who gave Usher his first movie role in 1999’s She’s All That and his current role as boxer Sugar Ray Leonard in the Roberto Duran biopic Hands of Stone, described Usher as a “triple-threat talent like a James Cagney or Michael Jackson who could do everything.”
Lewis referenced how Usher has always “worked tirelessly” and possesses the ability to “understand concepts quickly.” Hollywood Chamber of Commerce president/CEO Leron Gubler emceed the ceremony.
According to Billboard.com, fans began lining up at 6 a.m. for the 11:30 a.m. ceremony:
Usher paid homage to everyone who has supported him on a journey that began at 14 years old when he was signed to LaFace Records by co-founder Antonio “L.A.” Reid. In addition to Reid, chairman/CEO of Epic Records, other music industry executives spotted in the audience included Warner/Chappell chairman/CEO Jon Platt and RCA president of urban music Mark Pitts.
“I don’t just celebrate this moment by myself. I celebrate it with those people who invested in me, those people who loved me through my hard times,” Usher said before singling out his mother and first manager Jonetta Patton. “Mom, thank you for everything and all the people that you’ve actually helped to bring here.
They wouldn’t be here if you didn’t recognize and make sure you selected the right people to be around and to help me be the man I am today and in this position.” Additional family members present for the ceremony included the singer’s grandmother, aunt, wife Grace Miguel and his sons Usher Raymond V and Naviyd.
In a speech shifting between serious and lighthearted, Usher delivered his own shout-outs to several icons he wished could be present: Prince, Michael Jackson, James Brown and Luther Vandross. “They were so important in shaping who I am as an entertainer,” said Usher. Of the legendary Stevie Wonder, Usher added, “The one thing you’ve preached to me that’s become a mantra is that love is the key. Thank you for giving me that life lesson.”
Usher, whose new RCA album Hard II Love arrives Sept. 16, then saluted his fans. “It’s because of you that this shining star is here. Now it’s your responsibility to come down here every chance you get to shine my star,” he added with a laugh. “That’s the smallest thing that I could ask of you right now especially given the fact that I’m going to be walked on.”
Watch highlights from Usher’s Walk of Fame ceremony below:
PHOTO: Usher Instagram