Why Muhammad Ali's Star on Hollywood Boulevard Floats Like a Butterfly Above Ground

PHOTO: Flowers are placed at Muhammad Alis star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on June 4, 2016 in Hollywood, California. Sports legend Muhammad Ali died June 3rd at the age of 74. PlayGabriel Olsen/Getty Images
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Boxing legend Muhammad Ali was one of a kind, and so was the placement of his star along Hollywood's Walk of Fame.

While more than 2,500 brass stars are embedded in the sidewalk on 15 blocks of Hollywood Boulevard and several blocks on Vine Street in Hollywood, Ali's is the only one that hangs vertically.

So why the exception?

In 2002 the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce placed Ali's star at 6801 Hollywood Blvd., honoring him in the live performances category for his remarkable success in the boxing ring. But breaking from tradition, Ali did not want people to walk on his name, citing the Prophet Muhammad. Ali converted to Islam in the 1960s.

PHOTO:Muhammad Ali signing a replica of his Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame after a star ceremony for him, Jan. 11, 2002, in Los Angeles. J. P. Aussenard/Getty Images
PHOTO:Muhammad Ali signing a replica of his Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame after a star ceremony for him, Jan. 11, 2002, in Los Angeles.

His star was ceremonially presented on an easel, as opposed to being unveiled on the ground like the others, and then hung up near the entrance of the Dolby Theatre, where the Oscars have been held since that year.

The world-famous boxer died Friday night at the age of 74 in a Scottsdale, Arizona, hospital surrounded by his family.

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