Nipsey Hussle was posthumously honored Monday with a Hollywood Walk of Fame star on what would have been the Los Angeles hip-hop artist's 37th birthday.
The ceremony was at 6212 Hollywood Blvd., in front of Amoeba Music. Hollywood Boulevard was shut down Monday morning to accommodate the large crowd gathered for the event between Gower Street and Argyle Avenue.
Nipsey was shot and killed March 31, 2019 outside his Marathon clothing store in South Los Angeles. In July, a 32-year-old man was convicted in the killing of the 33-year-old rapper. Eric Holder could get life in prison when he's sentenced on Sept. 15.
Nipsey's longtime girlfriend, actress Lauren London, and Nipsey's sister, Samantha Smith, are spoke at the ceremony. His grandmother Margaret Boutte accepted the star on behalf of Nipsey's family.
"I think I speak for the entire city of LA when I say that we've always known Hussle was destined for greatness," London said. "This moment only amplifies this for us. Nip would've been honored by this moment.
"I think he would want everyone to remember that you cant get to what's possible unless you commit to moving forward. That doesn't mean forgetting where you come from, but it requires acknowledging the reality you were born into and the power you have to change that reality for the better. So whenever you're in the City of Angels and you see this star, I hope it encourages you to break away from whatever might be holding you back and for you to run your marathon until God says that it's finished."
The ceremony comes on the 37th anniversary of Nipsey's birth.
Smith said the ceremony was bittersweet.
"Proud is an understatement,'' she said. "Nip the Great, look at who you are, look at what you did. I'm in awe but I'm not surprised. You've been a star in my eyes, the family's eyes, God's eyes, far before the accolades caught up. You've affected the lives of so many in the realist ways -- the realist ways, the realist ways. You've been a pillar in our family, in the community.
"I've always been amazed and impressed at the example that you set. I feel so blessed and grateful to call you my brother.''
The family members posed for pictures with the star and a photo of Nipsey, dressed in a red track suit, placed on a stand next to them.
"He lives forever,'' Boutte said. "And I look at his picture and remember all the wonderful times we had together. Nipsey, I love you, I miss you, but you're close at heart always."
The star is the 2,729th star since the completion of the Walk of Fame in 1961 with the first 1,558 stars.
Born Ermias Joseph Asghedom on Aug. 15, 1985, Nipsey transformed himself from a South Los Angeles gang member to a rap musician and channeled his success into efforts to help others stay out of gangs. He bought shoes for students, re-paved basketball courts and provided jobs and shelter for the homeless.
Nipsey helped renovate a Mid-City roller rink and redeveloped the South Los Angeles strip mall that housed his The Marathon Clothing shop where he was shot and killed March 31, 2019.
After Nipsey's death, thousands of people were on hand in April 2019 for a service in his honor, with singer Stevie Wonder and rapper Snoop Dogg among those paying tribute to him.
In a letter that was read during the service, former President Barack Obama wrote, "While most folks look at the Crenshaw neighborhood where he grew up and see only gangs, bullets and despair, Nipsey saw potential. He saw hope. He saw a community that, even through its flaws, taught him to always keep going."
The rapper-entrepreneur was posthumously honored with two Grammy Awards in 2020 for best rap performance for "Racks in the Middle" and for best rap/sung performance for "Higher."