The legendary Man in Black sadly left us in September 2003, passing away from complications related to diabetes just a few months after his beloved wife June Carter had died following heart surgery.
Johnny Cash’s influence on country and popular music is almost incalculable; let us just say he is one of the most renowned country (and rock ‘n’ roll) icons the world has even known, and surely one of the coolest men who ever lived.
His deep bass baritone and incredible gift for storytelling and melody earned him a string of acclaimed albums and hits throughout a career stemming 5 decades. Many of his songs have since become country and rock standards (‘Ring Of Fire’, ‘I Walk The Line’ and ‘Jackson’ to name just three), and Cash’s thrilling live performances, not least his rebellious gigs at Folsom Prison and San Quentin, further helped develop his legend.
Since his death, several Rick Rubin produced albums he recorded prior to his passing have been released as part of the American series. Furthermore, a part of his life was chronicled in the hit biopic Walking The Line starring Joaquin Phoenix as him and boasting an Oscar-winning turn from Reese Witherspoon as his June Carter.
Cash received his Walk of fame star in March 1976, his wife June Carter and son John attending the unveiling with him.
Location: 6320 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, California, USA
The Beach Boys
Surf-rock pioneers turned avant-garde popsters then back full circle, The Beach Boys are one of the world’s best selling and most beloved bands.
Formed in 1961 in Hawthorne, California by brothers Carl, Dennis and Brian Wilson plus their cousin Mike Love and pal Al Jardine, the band quickly became a popular music sensation.
A slew of brilliant singles and albums showcasing their surf rock style of amazing vocal harmonies and keen pop sensibilities and a lyrical focus on Southern California youth culture made them world stars.
Brian Wilson would emerge as the band’s chief creative force, a bone fide genius with increasing musical ambitions to push the boundaries of pop music, inspired largely by contemporaries and friendly rivals The Beatles. Pet Sounds in particular remains one of the crowning achievements in popular music, and regularly makes the top 5 of best ever lists.
Wilson’s drug use and subsequent mental illness led to something of a creative decline from the early 1970s onwards, heightened by legal problems and the deaths of Dennis and Carl Wilson in 1983 and 1998.
The band were rewarded with their star on 1500 Vine Street in December 1980, with all band members attending the ceremony. The original five founding members were also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Class of 1988.
Location: 1500 Vine Street, Los Angeles, California, USA
Jimi Hendrix is one of the most important and beloved rock musicians ever to pick up a guitar and play. Put simply, the man born Johnny Allen Hendrix changed rock music forever.
Born in Seattle on November 27, 1942, Hendrix very quickly became one of the most influential, innovative and brilliant electric guitarists in the history of popular music, and is regularly listed as the best of all time in retrospective lists.
His musical career was unfortunately brief but simply sensational. Forming The Experience with Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding in 1966, he and the band released three sensational studio albums and a host of brilliant and innovative singles in three very fertile years.
Indeed, Are You Experienced, Axis: Bold As Love and Electric Ladyland are unimpeachable classics in the rock canon, and all three were duly featured in the top 100 of Rolling Stone magazine’s list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
Songs like ‘The Wind Cries Mary’, ‘All Along The Watchtower’, Foxy Lady’ ‘If 6 Was 9′ and ‘Crosstown Traffic’, to name just a few, are also hailed as classics, and have since become rock standards. Hendrix and the Experience were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992.
Hendrix’s incredibly charismatic live performances at the likes of the Monterrey Pop Festival in 1968 and Woodstock in 1969, further increased his legend. Unfortunately though, the wild frontman would soon pay the price for his bohemian ways with narcotics, dying in September 1970 in London after he choking on his own vomit while intoxicated with barbiturates.
Hendrix was belatedly rewarded with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on November 14, 1991, some 21 years after his death.
Location: 6627 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, California, USA
Known widely as “the King of rock ‘n’ roll,” Elvis Aaron Presley needs little or no introduction even to the most casual music fan.
The biggest selling solo artist of all time, Presley was without doubt one of the most important and famous cultural icons of the 20th century, and he continues to have a significant impact on rock ‘n’ roll music and culture today.
Presley moved with his family from Tupelo to Memphis, Tennessee aged 13 and the rest, as they say, is history. He hooked up with Sun Records owner Sam Phillips in 1954 and soon became the biggest star in rock ‘n’ roll.
No. 1 Chart hits such as ‘Heartbreak Hotel’, ‘Are You Lonesome Tonight?’, ‘Hound Dog’ and ‘Blue Suede Shoes’ (and many others), coupled with his electric, sexually charged performances on TV and in concert, made him a household name in the late 1950s in United States and then the world.
Presley also tried his hand at acting, making several feature films including 1956’s Love Me Tender and 1958’s Jailhouse Rock.
Years of heavy prescription drug use, poor diet and overeating severely deteriorated his health, and he died on 16 August 1977 at the age of 42 in the bathroom of his Graceland mansion.
Presley received his Walk of Fame star in Hollywood on 8 February 1960. It is located at 6777 Hollywood Boulevard.
Location: 6777 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, California, USA
An early pioneer of rock ‘n’ roll, the man born Charles Hardin Holley in 1936 made a significant mark on both popular culture and music in his tragically short life.
Adopting the name Buddy Holly, the star died aged just 22, having recorded three albums in his painfully short career. But his influence on the burgeoning musical style of rock ‘n’ roll has proved to be incalculable.
With his trademark black spectacles and boyish good looks, Holly, like Elvis, became a teen idol several years before The Beatles, thrilling fans with a host of hit singles and rocking appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show. Hits such as ‘Peggy Sue’ and ‘I’m Gonna Love You Too’ created a new energy in rock ‘n’ roll, and indebted bands and artists such as The Rolling Stones, The Beatles and Bob Dylan soon followed in his wake.
Famously, he died on 3 February 1959, when the small plane he was travelling in crashed in a blizzard near Clear Lake, Iowa. Band-mates Ritchie Valens and J. P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson, plus the pilot were all killed in the crash, but Waylon Jennings life was spared when he opted to take the bus instead.
Holly was rewarded with his star on the Walk of Fame on what would have been his 75th birthday. A star studded ceremony on 7 September 2011 saw his widow Maria Elena Holly speak along with his pals The Everly Brothers.
Location: 1750 North Vine Street, Los Angeles, California, USA
The Beatles are the most popular rock band of all time, and over 40 years since their acrimonious breakup the Fab Four continue to inspire new legions of fans every year.
Formed in Liverpool in 1960 by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, the band’s classic lineup of John, Paul, Ringo and George was established in 1962 when drummer Pete Best left to be replaced by Starr.
Scoring major hit singles like ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’ and ‘She Loves You’ soon after Starr joined the band, it wasn’t long before the world was taken over by a whirlwind of Beatlemania.
The band evolved from being well-dressed, teen idols into sophisticated counter-cultural icons, as their music moved in a more experimental direction.
The Beatles probably has more classic albums in the rock canon than any other artists, with records like Revolver, Abbey Road and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band changing the face of popular music forever.
Their incredible popularity and seismic cultural impact mean that it was inevitable a star would be awarded on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. This finally happened on Christmas day 1998, with the star located on 7080 Hollywood Boulevard.
Of course, John Lennon had been long deceased by the time of the unveiling (being murdered in December 1980), but the three other members of the band were able to take in the Hollywood moment.
Location: 7080 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, California, USA
Legendary American jazz trumpeter and singer Louis Armstrong made an incredible impact on popular music, so it was no surprise when he was awarded with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on 8 February 1960.
Armstrong- or Pops as he was widely known- changed the course of jazz and popular music forever, his unique gravelly voice and innovative trumpet and cornet playing earning him international acclaim.
He scored several pop hits too, with ‘What A Wonderful World’, and ‘We Have All The Time In The World’ (which was featured on the soundtrack of the James Bond film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and topped the British charts) to mention just two, becoming classics in the popular music canon.
Armstrong, who died in 1971, has influenced or inspired generations of musicians as diverse as Miles Davis, James Brown and Tom Waits. His star is located on 7018 Hollywood Boulevard.
Location: 7018 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, California, USA
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
Tom Petty and his band the Heartbreakers received their dues for a long, multi-platinum selling career by earning a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on 28 April 1999.
The popular heartland rockers from Gainesville, Florida formed in 1976, and after scoring hit singles with songs like ‘American Girl’ and ‘Learning To Fly’ and big selling albums like Damn The Torpedoes and Hard Promises, they quickly became one of America’s most popular rock ‘n’ roll bands.
The band’s unpretentious, Rolling Stones-influenced sound and direct, relatable lyrics won much of America over, and the band continued to record well into the 2010s until Tom Petty’s tragic death in 2017.
Petty & The Heartbreakers’ star can be found at 7018 Hollywood Boulevard on the famous strip.
Location: 7018 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, California, USA
One of the world’s most beloved rock stars with a career spanning around a century, David Bowie was practically a certainty to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Bursting into wider public consciousness in 1969 with the hit single ‘Space Oddity’, Bowie became a major glam rock star in the early 1970s, creating landmark albums of that burgeoning genre with Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane.
In the mid 1970s the chameleon like Bowie – the king of constant reinvention – moved towards plastic funk. Young Americans was poorly received on the whole though, and that failure coupled with heavy drug addiction and a fascism controversy saw Bowie decamped to Berlin.
Whilst in Berlin, Bowie successfully recovered his mojo and revived his reputation, creating much of the so-called “Berlin Trilogy” with ex-Roxy Music star Brian Eno. This fruitful period of his career saw some of his best critical notices, and the three experimental electronica and rock albums (Low, Heroes and Lodger) have proved particularly influential.
The 1980s and 1990s were less fruitful for Bowie, with a series of poorly received albums and singles though he did score chart success with the Queen collaboration “Under Pressure” and a number of hits from his most commercially successful Let’s Dance record.
The 2000s and 2010s saw Bowie’s critical standing return, but he sadly died just a few days after releasing his final LP Blackstar in early January 2016.
Bowie also worked as an actor (most notably in the film Labyrinth) and has produced or co-produced records by the likes of Iggy Pop and Lou Reed. Nonetheless, he is best known for his musical output and thus his star was awarded under the category of Recording.
Bowie attended his ceremony on 12 February 1997, and his star is located on 7021 Hollywood Boulevard.
Location: 7021 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, California, USA
Los Angeles hard rockers Mötley Crüe earned their star on the celebrated Walk of Fame on 26 January 2006. The “hair metal” band were formed in the sunshine state in 1981 by bass guitarist Nikki Sixx and drummer Tommy Lee. They later added a lead guitarist in the shape of Mick Mars and singer called Vince Neil. The band have sold more than 80 million albums worldwide, proving the popularity of their sleazy, hard rock.
Indeed, the Crüe’s hard living and partying has become legendary in rock ‘n’ roll folklore. Sixx was close to death following a heroin overdose, and drummer Tommy Lee has been noted for his turbulent relationship with former Baywatch siren Pamela Anderson.
The hard-living group’s star can be found on 6752 Hollywood Boulevard.
Location: 6752 Hollywood Boulevard Los Angeles, California, USA