On Friday (Aug. 16), famed producer Teddy Riley accepted his star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame. The momentous achievement arrives decades after the Harlem native launched his professional career, aiding in the New Jack Swing era of the mid-80s and ’90s to crafting timeless R&B hits like “I Like,” “Before I Let You Go,” and “No Diggity.”
“I’m thrilled [about the honor], but it’s a calm, cool excitement because I’m afraid of anxiety,” he said per Variety. “I think, however, I’m going to be pretty emotional about my star the day-of.” The 51-year-old’s star is located on Cahuenga and Hollywood boulevards.
First to honor Riley was R&B vocalist Tank. The “When We” singer began his speech by stating at 12 years old, he was introduced to Riley via Guy’s self-titled album. “I proceeded to listen, to be inspired, to learn and understand what greatness and who God is because when he makes something and he has a divine purpose for it, and he wants it to be elevated to a place that very few men have ever been or have ever seen, he does it and he does it very well,” he said. “And he’s done that with Mr. Teddy Riley.”
When it was Riley’s turn to take the mic, he thanked music industry veterans Mike Concepcion and Clarence Avant for giving him the roadmap to this career journey. “Mike adopted me as a nephew…the one thing that I was able to do with that is make it into something where people can see us and me take someone as giant as him in the street world and bring into the music industry. We made success together.”
With the popularity of Top 50 lists, Riley recently shared a roster of producers that listed him at number two, right after the award-winning Quincy Jones. In 2010, Riley also revealed that he was working on a film chronicling the New Jack Swing movement.
“We are starting the film in the ‘80s, so part 1 will be before Michael Jackson,” he shared. “We are covering everything from Guy and Bobby Brown to modern R&B’s first beef, which was between Guy and New Edition. It’s going to be written by Barry Michael Cooper, with input from myself and Jeff Dyson, who was New Edition’s security. The truth shall be revealed.”