A star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was unveiled Wednesday honoring versatile singing star Ana Gabriel for a career that has included seven singles and three albums reaching the top of the Billboard Latin pop charts.
Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Latin entertainment news correspondent Jessica Maldonado and Henry Cardenas, CEO of the CardenasMarketing Network, joined Gabriel in speaking at the 11:30 a.m. ceremony at 6623 Hollywood Blvd. in front of Ballet Hollywood.
The ceremony was streamed on the Walk of Fame's website, www.walkoffame.com.
"It is hard to put into words and express what the Hollywood star means to me,'' Gabriel told City News Service. "There is a great sense of achievement, gratefulness, and accomplishment after many years of work, sacrifice, discipline and a promise made to my parents many years ago. It is a happy feeling deep in my heart.''
Local news from across Southern California
Singing in the mariachi, ranchero and pop genres and romantic ballads, Gabriel has released 28 studio albums, 19 compilation albums and three live albums, selling more than 40 million records worldwide.
Gabriel's best-selling album is "Mi Mexico", a ranchera-influenced, mariachi-backed pop album released in 1991, which included a tribute to Mexico's most popular singer-songwriter, Juan Gabriel, and opened the doors to her career in Europe.
Gabriel is a 13-time winner at the Lo Nuestro Awards, which honor the best of Latin music, receiving its Excellence Award in 2006. Gabriel has received four Latin Grammy nominations and a Grammy nomination in 1990 for best Latin pop performance for "Quien como tu.''
Gabriel said she considers the highlight of her career "not to get to the top but to stay atop for 46-plus years.''
"I am fortunate to be an artist that has been able to move and evolve with the times,'' Gabriel said. "It's taken discipline, hard work and being committed 100% to a record label like Sony Music, who has supported my career for a long time.
"However, it would not have been the same without the commitment to my fans -- around the world, far and near -- who have inherited my music from generation to generation.''
Born Dec. 10, 1955 in the small town of Guamuchil in the Mexican state of Sinaloa, Gabriel's family encouraged her singing and musical ability beginning when she was very young, staging re-enactments of a popular radio show where she would play the first three notes from a song and her family would guess what song it was.
Gabriel first performed on stage when she was 6 years old, singing "Regalo de Dios'' by the ranchera singer-songwriter Jose Alfredo Jimenez. She recorded her first song on Dec. 15, 1974.
Her star is the 2,707th since the completion of the Walk of Fame in 1961 with the first 1,558 stars.