Jackson, Brown among Apollo's Walk of Fame in NY

A marquee displays a memorial message during the Michael Jackson public memorial at the Apollo Theater in New York, June 30, 2009. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York’s Apollo Theater took on a touch of Hollywood on Monday when it began installing its own Walk of Fame with plaques that will honor entertainers including late singers James Brown and Michael Jackson.

The famed Harlem auditorium had every year been creating its own Hall of Fame list of legends who had close ties to the theater. But on Monday it began installing bronze rectangular plaques on the sidewalk outside the theater, including for James Brown, Smokey Robinson and Ella Fitzgerald.

“I started out at the Apollo and it will always be a home to me,” Robinson, 70, said in a statement on being named in the first group to have plaques installed.

“For me to have a plaque honoring me in front of the Apollo Theater is one of the proudest achievements in my life.”

Michael Jackson and Aretha Franklin will have their own plaques laid down when their names are inducted into the theater’s Hall of Fame next month.

In recent years, the theater has served as a place for thousands of fans to honor both Jackson and James Brown after they died.

Jackson first performed at the Apollo’s Amateur Night at age 9 with his brothers. Their group, the Jackson 5, won the competition in 1969, when the pop singer was 11 years old, performing Smokey Robinson’s “Who’s Lovin’ You.”

Reporting by Christine Kearney, editing by Jill Serjeant