Decades after his musical talents changed the game for R&B and Hip Hop, songwriter, producer and singer Teddy Riley finally received the indelible recognition he deserves with a star on the coveted Hollywood Walk of Fame, this past Friday.
“I’m thrilled [about the honor], but it’s a calm, cool excitement because I’m afraid of anxiety,” Riley told Variety prior to the ceremony. ”I think, however, I’m going to be pretty emotional about my star the day-of.”
Riley pioneered the sound that would become known as “New Jack Swing,” which took over the music scene in the late 80s and 90s. Riley worked with countless artists like Bobby Brown, Keith Sweat, Michael Jackson, Keith Sweat, Doug E. Fresh and in 1987, Riley started his own group called Guy.
As a member of Guy, he and his group mates landed roles in the acclaimed movie New Jack City. In 1991, Riley started another group called Blackstreet, which would orchestrate hits like “Don’t Leave” and “No Diggigty,” the latter, would win him a Grammy award. According to KABC, Riley has more than 1,000 musical credits to his name. Riley has earned awards and accolades throughout his career for his contributions to music.
“My uncle bought me Roland keyboards, a Yamaha S-30, a string clavier and a Fender Rhodes — my set-up forever,” Riley remembered. “Once I borrowed a TEAC two-track, reel-to-reel from a friend I was ready to go. I still had to make drum sounds by mic-ing a toilet tissue roll as my kick drum — I’d even beatbox through the hole — but it gave me that bottom. I cherish that memory.”
In addition to the Walk of Fame, the Harlem native was recently honored with an induction to the Hip-Hop Hall of Fame and received the Soul Train Legend Award. KABC reported that he is also slated to have his own Las Vegas residency called “Teddy Riley and Friends,” which will begin showings at the end of the year.