Hollywood walk of fame

Understanding the Hollywood walk of fame

There are many things that make Hollywood iconic, and the prestigious walk of fame is one of them. 

It is a sidewalk that has been turned into a historic landmark in Hollywood, running through 18 blocks between Hollywood Boulevard and Vine street. With big terrazzo stars that each represent a celebrity. 

In the whole of the USA, the Hollywood walk of fame has become the most visited landmark. With different visitors from all over the world swarming into Hollywood, just to see and take a picture with the star of their favorite celebrities.

Currently, there are over 2,700 stars on the Hollywood walk of fame. What this means is that such a high number of people in the entertainment industry have been honored with this great gesture for their talent and hard work in different areas of theater.

Though most people only relate the Hollywood walk of fame to singers and actors, they are not the only ones who get it. 

In fact, Beyonce — one of the biggest musical stars of our time, does not have a star on the Hollywood walk of fame. But Mohamed Ali, a sportsman, and a boxer have a star to his name (though he requested that it should not be embedded on the sidewalk).

How do stars get into the Hollywood walk of fame?

Contrary to the rumors out there, it is quite easy for a celebrity to get into the Hollywood walk of fame. It starts with an application for a person to be honored with a star, then approval from the board will make it a reality.

Anyone can nominate a celebrity for a star on the Hollywood walk of fame, including fans. What this means for you is that if you love a celebrity and feel that they deserve to have a star to their name, you are free to nominate them for the honor.

The Hollywood walk of fame recognizes people based on these five categories: motion pictures, radio, music, broadcast television, and live performances. Recently, they have added sports entertainment to make it six categories, that is why sports stars are also getting their stars on the walk of fame.

If your favorite celebrity has been remarkable in any of these fields, you could get an application for them and if it is approved, they will have their star in the following year.

Hollywood walk of fame nomination prerequisites

For someone to be nominated for a star on the Hollywood walk of fame, they must have gathered a reasonable amount of fame. So if you nominate your friend who knows how to sing very well and has one or two viral songs, there is a very slim chance that they will get approved and earn a star.

The criteria required before a celebrity can get nominated include the following:

  • Longevity 

Relative newbies are not eligible for nomination. No matter how impactful someone has been, they just have to wait till their stardom has stood the test of time. After a period of five years, they can be nominated for the Hollywood walk of fame.

  • Professional achievement 

This is why getting viral on the internet will not earn someone a nomination to the Hollywood walk of fame, even if they are truly talented. It is an honor saved for people who are professional entertainers. And they must have been recognized in their respective categories before getting into the walk of fame.

For musicians, a Grammy award can pass for professional achievement. The same way an Oscar award would be for a professional actor. 

  • Contribution to the community 

In this regard, celebrities don’t have to contribute in a way that relates to their immediate form of art. For example, a singer can contribute to the community in many ways that do not relate to singing. 

As long as the contribution is impactful and works for the good of the entire community, the celebrity behind it can get a Hollywood walk of fame nomination.

  • They must be at the ceremony 

This is one award that requires the recipient to be at the ceremony in person. They must agree to show up at the dedication ceremony if the nomination gets approved, so anyone that is planning to be absent, appear via the internet, or send a representative, will not qualify for the honor.

In the event that the person that was nominated for the award is deceased, they obviously cannot be present at the dedication ceremony, so this is a special case. Though there has to be a waiting time of five years between when a deceased person gets nominated, and when they eventually get their star on the walk of fame.

The financial aspect of it

While it is true that you are free to nominate any celebrity you like, there is a lot of money involved in the process. Even as a regular person with no fame or celebrity status, you will be required to cough out at least 40,000 dollars just to nominate your preferred celebrity to the Hollywood walk of fame.

Perhaps, this financial angle is why everyday people can not easily nominate whoever they like. Because the person they are willing to part with huge amounts for, could eventually not get approved by the nomination committee.

Also, these celebrities have a lot of money already. So it feels weird to take from your savings and spend it on a famous person — no matter how much their art means to you.

Sometimes, people come together and raise small amounts that eventually grow up to meet the 40,000 dollar mark. Then nominate the famous person they love without worrying about the money since each person only contributed about 50 to 100 dollars.

Who really determines a Hollywood walk of fame awardee

After a person or group gets nominated, that nomination has to be approved in two places. First, the person being nominated has to agree to it by approval from their management.

After this, the Hollywood walk of fame nomination committee also has to approve the nomination. In the case where a person’s animation does not get approved, there is room for another nomination the following year.

Sometimes, it may even take several years of repeated nominations before the committee will approve a person for a star in the walk of fame. At this stage, it is even still at the nomination alone. Nothing is guaranteed yet.

In a year, so many people get to cross the nomination stage because there are very impactful, talented, and charitable celebrities out there. So the next phase involves a more rigorous method of selection.

From nomination to selection, it is already clear that all the remaining celebrities for that year have checked all the boxes. So the final division is left up to the Hollywood chamber’s board of directors.

 They organize themselves and cast their votes for the approval of the selected nominees. Even at this stage, there is no 100% guarantee that a person will get their star on the prestigious sidewalk.

The names still need to be forwarded to the Los Angeles board of public works department. If a celebrity passes this final stage, then they will get honored with a huge star on the Hollywood walk of fame.

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