Ashanti Officially Receives Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

Ashanti is celebrating a Star-ring moment…

The 41-year-old 41-year-old half-Afro-Dominican singer/actress has officially received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

AshantiAshanti star was unveiled on the morning of Thursday, April 7 — a feat her mom and manager Tina Douglas, predicted decades ago.

“It’s surreal,” Ashanti told Billboard, moments after unveiling her star and taking photos with longtime friends and collaborators Tichina Arnold and Ja Rule. “I’m shocked, stunned and over the top grateful. This is a staple in my career and the fact that it will be here forever is a big deal.”

The honor comes 20 years after the release of Ashanti’s self-titled debut studio album, which premiered at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and charted for 55 weeks. The Grammy-winner and actress has since released 18 Hot 100 tracks, including two No. 1 hits.

“I’m not a super emotional person, so the fact that I cried a little bit today is a little weird for me,” Ashanti said with a laugh. “I’m so humbled and overjoyed to have friends, family and genuine people here supporting me that I love.”

In addition to Arnold and Ja Rule, Ashanti was surrounded by her parents, Tina and Ken-Kaide Thomas Douglas, sister Kenashia Douglas, Lupita Cornejo, Simone Smith, her team, many loved ones and fans. All of whom she thanked during her acceptance speech, naming her parents as her lifeline and family as her foundation.

“The fact that my mom spoke this into existence is surreal,” the star explained. “She really had that feeling as a mother to say, ‘My child is gonna get this.’ She manifested it and I’m forever grateful.”

Previously, Ashanti’s mom showed onlookers a photo of the star she had originally created for her daughter. “I didn’t know she still has that star,” Ashanti said proudly.

“I’m grateful to the [Hollywood Chamber of Commerce] for doing this because as artists, we put so much into it, so many sacrifices, so to feel like we’re being rewarded with something that [lasts] forever is an honor.”

After Ashanti’s star ceremony, family and friends joined her for an intimate, lavish lunch at Tatel Beverly Hills, where many shared heartfelt words about the Billboard Music Award-winner — and hilarious stories.

After listening to the kind words and fun memories, Ashanti shared a message of her own. “My family has been my backbone from the beginning. I didn’t wake up and say ‘I wanna be a star or singer,’ it happened accidentally. But being in this business for so many years has taught me so much.”

She went on to thank God and her supporters as she briefly became emotional again. “I’ve had a lot of people betray and stab me and I’ve been naive, so to be here enjoying this moment, I appreciate you for believing in me.”

“Without the machine behind me, I would not be here,” Ashanti continued. “I’m able to live out my dream. This star symbolizes that I kinda did something right.”

Fat Joe to Perform at Mexico’s Golden Sand Music Festival in January

Fat Joe is heading south (of the border) for the winter…

The 51-year-old Puerto Rican and Cuban American rapper has been added to the throwback lineup for the Golden Sand music festival, which will hit the beach from January 12-16 in Maya Riviera, Mexico.

Fat Joe

In addition to Fat Joe, who will face off against Ja Rule in an all-new Verzuz battle this month, the fest will feature a mix of classic R&B and hip-hop stars including 50 CentFlo RidaKelly Rowland, Lil Kim, Ludacris, Nelly, Sean Paul, T-Pain and TLC.

The site for the Pollen Presents produced event promises to “throw it back to sunnier days and simpler times. 4 days and 4nights in a 5* resort with all food and drink included, featuring the biggest names from the 90s and 00s.”

Among the other promised experiences at the 18+ event are an: opening ceremony, three daytime pool parties, daily yoga, meditation and wellness sessions, sunset beachside cookout, Saturday cartoons & cereal, throwback video game lounge, film screenings with a twist, adventure park with ATVS & more and a COVID-19 money back guarantee.

Visitors at the festival on the Caribbean coastline of Mexico’s northeastern Yucatán Peninsula will stay at the Barceló Riviera Maya resort, which is spread across the Maya Riviera, Maya Beach and Maya Caribe. The event features a COVID-19 money back guarantee, which offers a complete refund if the experience is canceled by Pollen, it is rescheduled to a later date the ticket buyer doesn’t want to attend, the ticket buyer tests positive for COVID-19 within 14 days of the start date and there is a quarantine rule in effect six weeks prior to departure and the ticket holder doesn’t wish to travel.

Fat Joe to Face Off Against Ja Rule in All-New Verzuz Battle

Fat Joe is ready for a hip-hop battle…

The 51-year-old Puerto Rican and Cuban American rapper will face off against Ja Rule in an all-new Verzuz battle on September 14.

Fat Joe

The friendly competition will take place in person, live from New York.

“The summer ain’t over!!” Verzuz co-creator Swizz Beatz wrote on Instagram revealing the news.

In a separate announcement post on Instagram, Ja Rule wrote, “#ICONN.” Meanwhile, Fat Joe captioned his identical post, “The price just went [up] @fatjoe @verzuz @jarule.”

This marks the first Verzuz battle since last month, when The LOX and Dipset hit the stage to deliver some fan-favorite hit songs.

Over the course of his decades-long career, Ja Rule has released eight No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 singles, including “Always On Time,” featuring Ashanti, which peaked at No. 1 in February 2002 and charted for 27 weeks. The hitmaker has released a total of 17 Hot 100 songs. His debut studio album, Venni Vetti Veccipeaked at No. 3 on the Billboard 200, where it charted for 31 weeks.

Fat Joe, who began his career in music as a member of hip-hop group Diggin’ in the Crates Crew (D.I.T.C.), released his debut solo album Represent in 1993. His single from the album, “Flow Joe,” reached No. 1 on the Hot Rap Songs chart.

Fat Joe’s “What’s Luv?” featuring Ashanti and Ja Rule, peaked at number two on the US Billboard Hot 100.

Ja Rule’s collaborative hit track “New York,” featuring Fat Joe and Jadakiss, was a top 30 Hot 100 song. It peaked at No. 27 on the list in 2004, where it charted for 14 weeks.

Hip-hop fans can catch the newly announced Verzuz battle between Fat Joe and Ja Rule on September 14 at 9:00 pm ET, which will be available for live streaming via the Triller app, FITE TV or on the Verzuz TV Instagram account.

Salma Hayek to Receive Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

Salma Hayek will have a permanent place in Hollywood

The 54-year-old Mexican Oscar-nominated actress and producer is among the 38 honorees invited to join the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Salma Hayek

Hayek, who moved to Hollywood in 1991, rose to acclaim in films like Desperado and From Dusk till Dawn. She earned an Academy Award nomination for her portrayal of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo in Frida.

But Hayek isn’t the only Latin honoree this year…

Tessa Thompson was selected in the Motion Picture category.

The 37-year-old Afro-Panamanian American actress gained mainstream recognition for her starring role as Valkyrie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe superhero films Thor: Ragnarok and Avengers: Endgame.

Her other credits include Sylvie’s Love, Men in Black: International, and Creed.

Ashanti has been selected in the Recording category.

The 40-year-old part-Dominican American Grammy-winning singer and actress was first discovered as a teenager and later signed to Murder Inc. Records in 2002.

That year, she was featured on Fat Joe‘s “What’s Luv?” and Ja Rule‘s “Always on Time,” both of which became two of the biggest hit songs of 2002; Ashanti became the first female artist to occupy the top two positions on the Billboard Hot 100 chart simultaneously when “Foolish” and “What’s Luv?” were at numbers one and two, respectively.

Other Latin artists selected include Los Huracanes Del Norte and Angelica Vale.

These honorees were chosen from among hundreds of nominees at a meeting of the Walk of Fame selection committee and ratified by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors this week. Radio personality Ellen K, chair of the selection committee (and a past Walk of Fame honoree), announced the new honorees on the Walk of Fame’s website.

The selection panel, made up of fellow Walk of Famers, handpicks a group of honorees each year that represent various genres of the entertainment world. “The panel did an amazing job choosing these very talented people,” said Ellen K. “We can’t wait to see each honoree’s reaction as they realize that they are becoming a part of Hollywood’s history with the unveiling of their star on the world’s most famous walkway.”

Dates have not been scheduled for these star ceremonies. Recipients have two years to schedule star ceremonies from the date of selection before their selection expires. Upcoming star ceremonies are usually announced 10 days prior to dedication on the Walk of Fame website.

Here’s the full list of Hollywood Walk of Fame Class of 2022 honorees (using their full names as shown on their list):

Recording: Black Eyed Peas, George E. Clinton Jr., Ashanti Douglas, DJ Khaled, Avril Lavigne, Los Huracanes Del Norte, Martha Reeves and Ermias Asghedom (Nipsey Hussle, posthumous).

Motion pictures: Francis Ford Coppola, Macaulay Culkin, Willem Dafoe, Salma Hayek, James Hong, Helen Hunt, Michael B. Jordan, Regina King, Ray Liotta, Ewan McGregor, Adam McKay, Jason Momoa, Tessa Thompson and Carrie Fisher (posthumous)

Television: Byron Allen, Greg Berlanti, Ricky Gervais, Peter Krause, Robert Odenkirk, Holly Robinson-Peete, Norman Reedus, Tracee Ellis Ross, Jean Smart, Ming-Na Wen and Kenan Thompson.

Live theatre/live performance: Patti LuPone, Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr. and Angelica Vale

Radio: Richard Blade

Sports entertainment: Michael Strahan

Ashanti to Face Off Against Keyshia Cole in Next Verzuz Battle

Ashanti is preparing for a big musical battle…

The 39-year-old part-Dominican American Grammy-winning singer and actress will face off against Keyshia Cole in the next Verzuz battle on December 12.

Ashanti

“Yeah, it’s official! The paperwork is IN,” the official Verzuz Instagram teased the “legendary Ladies Night,” with a split image of the singers’ faces.

The matchup is no surprise for fans, who’ve been buzzing about the potential pairing since May, when Cole commented under a side-by-side comparison of the duo’s hits. “My fans sent me this @timbaland @therealswizz @ashanti @verzuztv,” she wrote at the time. “is this accurate?”

The matchup marks the fourth female-charged battle, following Erykah Badu and Jill ScottMonica and Brandy, and Gladys Knight and Patti LaBelle.

Ashanti’s biggest hits include the chart-topping singles “Foolish” and “Always on Time,” with Ja Rule.

Don’t miss Cole and Ashanti’s Verzuz battle on Saturday, December 12 at 8:00 pm ET/5:00 pm PT on Verzuz’s Instagram page and on Apple Music.

Ashanti to Perform at Def Jam Recordings’ Special 30th Anniversary Concert

Ashanti is ready to (def) jam out!

Def Jam Recordings is celebrating their 30th birthday with a special concert featuring performances from the label’s past and present artists, including the 33-year-old part-Dominican American R&B singer/actress.

Ashanti

Ashanti will be joined by Rick Ross and 2 Chainz at the event slated to take place at Barclays Center in Brooklyn on October 16.

Other artists set to take the stage include DMX, Fabolous, Jeremih, EPMD,Foxy Brown, Jhene Aiko, Method Man, Redmanand Ja Rule. More acts will be announced at a later date.

As part of the celebration, Def Jam will also release a limited-edition LP and CD box set featuring a collection of songs curated by Def Jam’s founder Rick Rubin. It also includes a commemorative T-shirt and booklet.

Tickets for the October 16 concert go on sale on August 22. However, those who pre-order the box set will receive an access code to a special pre-sale on August 20.

“It’s very exciting to be able to be part of such a special announcement that solidifies and continues forward the enduring mark the brand has made on pop culture,” said Steve Bartels, CEO of Def Jam Recordings, in a statement.

Lopez to Release First Greatest Hits Album…

It’s been a lucky 13 years of making memorable music for Jennifer Lopez… And, now she’s celebrating her success with 13 dancetastic tracks…

The 42-year-old Puerto Rican singer/actress—who is currently on her first world tour—will release her first best-of collection of songs next month through Epic Records.

Jennifer Lopez

Entitled Dance Again… The Hits, Lopez’s greatest hits album will include a pair of previously unreleased songs: “Dance Again,” the Pitbull-assisted single that peaked at No. 17 on the Billboard Hot 100 last month, as well as “Goin’ In,” featuring Flo Rida, which Lopez premiered during the American Idol finale in May.

In addition, The Hits will include some of Lopez’s biggest hits; including “Love Don’t Cost a Thing,” “On the Floor,” “If You Had My Love” and her “I’m Real” remix featuring Ja Rule.

Lopez’s hits package will arrive in stores shortly after her summer tour with Enrique Iglesias and opening act Wisin Y Yandel kicks off July 14 in Montreal, on July 24.

Lopez—who claim the top spot on one of YouTube‘s “Rewind” lists last year—has enjoyed a remarkable comeback with the release of her studio album Love? and her stint on the American Idol judges panel. La Lopez has yet to confirm her return to Idol for a third season next year.

Here is the track list for Lopez’s Dance Again … The Hits:

1. Dance Again featuring Pitbull
2. Goin’ In featuring Flo Rida
3. I’m Into You featuring Lil Wayne
4. On the Floor featuring Pitbull
5. Love Don’t Cost A Thing
6. If You Had My Love
7. Waiting for Tonight
8. Get Right featuring Fabolous
9. Jenny From the Block (Track Masters Remix featuring Styles P. & Jadakiss)
10. I’m Real (Remix featuring Ja Rule)
11. Do It Well
12. Ain’t It Funny (Remix featuring Ja Rule & Caddillac Tah)
13. Feelin’ So Good (Remix featuring Big Pun & Fat Joe)