Russell Simmons is one of the most influential personalities in the entrepreneurial world of today, who has brought music talents to mass audiences through his hip-hop recording company, Def Jam Recordings. He has done extensive works in the field of hip-hop and the most renowned face of the genre. The multifaceted personality is also a producer, entrepreneur and an author. Apart from establishing a realm of music, Simmons owns a dozen of several other business ventures including a variety of clothing lines that fuel to his immense net worth.
Check out Russell Simmons biography to know about his childhood, music career, personal life, family, height, weight, businesses, achievements, net worth and fun facts.
Russell Wendell Simmons
Entrepreneur, Film Producer, Record Producer, Author, Screenwriter, Actor, Fashion Designer, Philanthropist
Birthday / Date of Birth
Russell Simmons was born on 4 October 1957, in Queens, New York, U.S.
He is currently 60 years old.
Simmons graduated from August Martin High School in 1975 and then attended the City College of New York in Harlem.
In 2014, he was felicitated with an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Humane Letters for promoting mindfulness, compassion and interreligious collaboration in the public sphere, from Claremont Lincoln University.
He categorise himself as a Christian Yogi. He practices a method of Yoga known as Jivamukti Yoga, which encourages vegetarianism and social and environmental activism.
- Father – Daniel Simmons, Sr. (Public school administrator )
- Mother – Evelyn Simmons (New York City park administrator)
- Siblings – Joseph Simmons, Daniel Simmons, Jr.
Simmons met his ex-wife, Kimora Lee Simmons in November 19992 and eventually married on December 20, 1988. The couple announced their divorce in March 2006. They have two daughters, Ming Lee (born 2000) and Aoki Lee (born 2002).
- In feet – 5 feet 7 inches
- In centimeters – 176 cm
- In meters – 1.76 m
- In Kilograms – 86 kg
- In Pounds – 198 lbs
Unfortunately, we do not have his body statistics at this time.
During his college days, Simmons happened to meet young DJ/Bboy, Kurt Walker, where he was fascinated by the crowd going crazy for the hip-hop music. That moment, he decided that hip-hop is his destination and in 1983, he along with his friend, Rick Rubin founded the record label Def Jam Recordings. Soon after, the label signed several artists realising their hip-hops. Of course, his record label is behind the success of today’s leading musicians.
Def Jam shortly became one of the most successful hip-hop labels of that time. Simmons, expanding his business portfolio, launched his own line of clothing for men called “Phat Farm” in 1992. Then, he also launched a kid’s clothing line, “Baby Phat”. His another successful venture, Rush Communications, is involved into film production, sportswear and advertising.
Over the years, Simmons has produced several television series such as Def Poetry Jam and Def Comedy Jam, and films such as Krush Grove and The Nutty Professor. As of now, Rush Communications handles ten businesses. He co-founded UniRush Financial Services with Unifund Corp and came up with the RushCard debit cards. He also co-founded All Def Digital, a media company that focuses on music and youth culture.
Film & Television Debut
In 1985 Russell Simmons co-produced and appeared in the film, Krush Groove.
Russell Simmons Favorites
His favorites are unknown.
Russell Simmons Net worth
Russell Simmons has an estimated net worth of $350 million as of 2017. He impressive net worth results form his various business endeavors that ranges from entertainment to fashion.
Simmons lives in a 6,000 square foot luxury mansion located in Los Angeles, which features five bedrooms, a zen garden, and a collection of art pieces and symbols of different religions.
Social Media Portfolio
In 2011, Simmons published his book titled, ‘Super Rich: A Guide to Having It All’, which was written as a guide to achieve much abundance and wealth.
In 2002, he produced the HBO television series, ‘Def Poetry’, which featured performances by well-known poets. The show also gave a platform to young talents in the field of poetry.
Simmons is the founder of four clothing lines, Phat Farm, Baby Phat, Argyleculture, and Tantris.
He won the 2009 NAACP Image Award for ‘Excellence in media’.
He has launched many hip-hop artists to the world of music through his recording label.
In May 2009, he was appointed Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Slavery Memorial at the United Nations to honor the victims of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
Simmons was felicitated with the Person of the Year Award in 2011. He has won several accolades including, PETA Humanitarian Award (2001), PGA Visionary Vanguard Awards (2013), GLAAD Media Awards (2011), BET Award (2003) and Tony Award for ‘Best Special Theatrical Event’ (2003).
Russell Simmons has been vegan since 1999 and advocates Ahimsa and veganism, citing animal rights along with the environmental and health benefits.
Simmons became Chairman of Board of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding in 2002.
He is huge supporter of LGBT rights.
He writes for Huffington Post and is also editor-in-chief of GlobalGrind.com, a website that reviews the world of hip-hop.
In 2017, Simmons was listed by UK-based company Richtopia at number 23 in the list of 200 Most Influential Social-Entrepreneurs and Philanthropists Worldwide.
He has written many books, including his biography Life and Def: Sex, Drugs, Money, + God, published September 24, 2002.
In late November 2017, Russell Simmons was accused with charges of sexual assault by Keri Claussen Khalighi when she was 17 in 1991. He was then 33 years old. But, he denied those charges citing it was non-consensual.