"I know Buddy is looking down and saying 'Thanks to all of you for bestowing this honor,'" said Holly's wife, Maria Elena, who accepted the honor on his behalf in front of the Capitol Records building.
Buddy Holly and the Crickets were on their way to stardom in the late 1950s. Over a span of just a year and a half, they released 27 Top 40 hits. Everything Holly touched seemed to turn to gold.
But it all ended Feb. 3, 1959 when a plane carrying Holly, Richie Valens and the Big Bopper crashed in an Iowa farm field.
Everyone on board was killed. The date was forever branded with a tragic label: the Day the Music Died.
"Changed the look and sound of rock and roll forever," said Leron Gubler of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.
Holly's star on the Walk of Fame further immortalizes the singer.
It's right in front of the Capitol Records building on Vine Street and right next to the sidewalk stars of the Beatles.
"His music has echoed on for decades and he's influenced so many people," said Rock 'n' roll hall of famer Phil Everly of the Everly Brothers. "It's just unbelievable."
Holly's short but meteoric career was the subject of the 1978 film "The Buddy Holly Story." Actor Gary Busey earned an Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of the rock 'n' roll pioneer.
"I remember when he went down in the plane, I was in the seventh grade," Busy said. "I just had no idea just what that loss would be."