Sir Richard Branson Lands on the Hollywood Walk of Fame - NBC Bay Area

Sir Richard Branson Lands on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Long before his adventurous spirit led him to explore ambitious spaceflight project, Sir Richard Branson opened a chain of record stores

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    Sir Richard Branson Lands on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
    David Livingston/Getty Images
    Sir Richard Branson attends his being honored with a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on October 16, 2018 in Hollywood, California.

    A star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was unveiled Tuesday honoring English business magnate Sir Richard Branson for his contributions to the recording industry.

    Branson was joined at the 11:30 a.m. ceremony in front of the Guinness World Record Museum on Hollywood Boulevard by singer Lance Bass, a longtime friend, and three-time Grammy winning singer Ben Harper, who has recorded for Branson's Virgin Records.

    Branson's star is the 2,647th since the completion of the Walk of Fame in 1961 with the first 1,558 stars. 

    Born July 18, 1950, in London, Branson established a mail-order record business in 1970 and a record shop in Oxford Street in London in 1971. In 1972, he started the record label Virgin Records.

    The label's first release was the progressive rock album "Tubular Bells" by multi-instrumentalist Mike Oldfield, which gained global attention when it was used on the soundtrack to the 1973 horror film "The Exorcist." It reached the top of the charts in the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada and was third in the United States.

    Virgin Records went on to sign such artists as the Sex Pistols, Rolling Stones, Janet Jackson, Phil Collins and Peter Gabriel, becoming the biggest independent label in the world. Virgin Records' recent artists include Daft Punk, Katy Perry and Bastille.

    In the 1980s and 1990s, Branson's Virgin Megastores established record stores throughout the world.

    Branson is also known for riding in the first hot air balloon to cross the Atlantic Ocean, as well as the first balloon to cross the Pacific Ocean from Japan to Arctic Canada, and as the wealthiest host of a reality television series -- topping President Donald Trump and Oprah Winfrey -- for Fox's short-lived "The Rebel Billionaire: Branson's Quest for the Best."