Colombian pop star Shakira was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Wednesday. The singer, who’s the most successful female Latin singer after Gloria Estefan, became the 79th Latino/a to get a star in Hollywood.
At the public ceremony held on Hollywood Boulevard, Shakira dedicated her star to her fans, who “have listened, supported and understood my music all these years.” She also dedicated it to Latinos in the U.S., who she praised as “a community that works and dreams, every day, to make this a better country.”
“If by coincidence you happen to look down to the ground and you see this star, remember that it belongs to each one of you, because it carries the name of a Hispanic woman that, like you, dreams and works and works and dreams every day,” Shakira said standing next to her mom at the conference.
“Shaki, one day you’ll have your own star here,” Shakira said her mother told her when she was 7-years-old. “If someone had heard that conversation, they would have thought she was insane.”
If you look at the numbers, Shakira’s mom did have a big dream for her daughter.
Of the 2,366 stars on Hollywood sidewalks, only 3.4 percent of them belong to Latinos, a CNN analysis shows.
The figure is 5.1 percent for African-Americans and a mere 0.4 percent for Asians.
That means that Asians only have 10 stars, out of 2,366. (The infographic, which expands once you click on it, was created by CNN.)
“The committee tries to select candidates from each of the five categories, so with all of the different factors as well as the makeup of who has been nominated, it is a challenge to balance all factors,” Leron Gubler, president and CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, said in a written response to questions from CNN.
“Since day one, we have encouraged minorities to apply,” Gubler said about the Walk, which opened in 1961. “When the Walk of Fame was created, some of the first stars included Anna May Wong, Dolores Del Rio, Cantinflas, Hattie McDaniel and many others. The committee does try to ensure that minorities are represented in the selections, but there is no set mandatory ratio.”
The figures shouldn’t come as a shock because those statistics are similar to who gets roles on film and television. That, and the stars ain’t free. Studios and record companies pony up $30,000 for each star.
Still the figures fall short when compared with the nation’s overall population: 16 percent for Latinos, 13 percent for African-Americans and about 5 percent for Asians.