Not to diminish the achievement of a celebrity receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, but the system put in place allows the stars to be purchased.
Step one in getting your star on the Walk of Fame is to have someone nominate you and send an application to The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. Typically this is a press agent for the celebrity or someone who has the celebrity’s blessing.
Then a committee meets once a year in June to review and vote on the applications. The five-person committee lead by Johnny Grant, then selects around 20 celebrities to receive stars in the coming year.
After a celebrity has been selected they have to pay $15,000 to cover expenses for the unveiling ceremony. The money usually comes from a celeb’s record label or film studio, and to a lesser extent a celebrity’s fan club.
So for those curious as to how a pop star like Britney Spears could get a star and acclaimed film makers like Francis Ford Coppola have yet to receive one, this is basically how it happens. It has nothing to do with longevity or contributions to their field, well little, since they have to be voted on. Incidentally, Coppola’s nephew, Nicolas Cage, received a star in 2001, just in time for the release of “Captain Corelli's Mandolin”.