Russell Simmons



NAME: Russell Simmons
OCCUPATION: Entrepreneur
BIRTH DATE: October 04, 1957 (Age: 56)
PLACE OF BIRTH: Queens, New York
Full Name: Russell Wendell Simmons
AKA: Russell Simmons
Best Known For

Co-founder of Def Jam Records, Russell Simmons was the force behind the hip-hop revolution, promoting stars like the Beastie Boys, Public Enemy and LL Cool J.

Born in New York City on October 4, 1957, Russell Simmons began promoting New York City musicians in his early 20s. He partnered with Rick Rubin to create Def Jam Records, and signed artists like the Beastie Boys, LL Cool J, Public Enemy and Run-D.M.C. He later sold his stake in Def Jam to Universal Music Group for $100 million. In addition to his music career,


Def Jam Records
Other Projects

“Judgment of the people in the situation is not helpful. How can you help them is the question.”

– Russell Simmons
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Simmons helped found the Hip Hop Summit Action Network, the Rush Philanthropic Organization and the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding.

Def Jam Records

Russell Wendell Simmons was born in Queens, New York, on October 4, 1957. After a brief stint at City College of New York, Simmons left school to promote local musicians, including Kurtis Blow and Run-D.M.C. In 1984, he and partner Rick Rubin founded Def Jam Recordings, creating the foundation for the cultural revolution known as hip hop. Def Jam signed the forerunners of the hip hop movement, including the Beastie Boys, LL Cool J, Public Enemy and Run-D.M.C.

An ambitious entrepreneur, Russell Simmons saw Def Jam as just part of his hip hop empire. His Rush Communications firm also included Phat Farm clothing company, television shows, a management company, a magazine and an advertising agency. His movie production house has produced such films as Krush Groove and The Nutty Professor. In 1999, he sold his stake in Def Jam Records to Universal Music Group for $100 million. In 2004, he sold Phat Farm for $140 million.

Other Projects

A strict vegan and yoga enthusiast, Simmons is also an active philanthropist. He helped found the Hip Hop Summit Action Network, the Rush Philanthropic Organization and the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding. He actively supports PETA and was named a Goodwill Ambassador to fight war, poverty and HIV/AIDS. He is the author of Do You! 12 Laws To Access The Power In You To Achieve Happiness And Success.

Simmons was married to model Kimora Lee from 1998 to 2008. They have two daughters, Ming and Aoki.

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For Russell Simmons, the Only Goal Left ?to Achieve is Total Enlightenment

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By Jeff Weiss

Wed, Apr 2, 2014 at 3:45 AM
Categories: Bizarre Ride

Photo courtesy of Russell Simmons
[Editor’s note: Weekly scribe Jeff Weiss’s column, “Bizarre Ride,” appears on West Coast Sound every Wednesday. His archives are available here.]

You can take the New Yorker out of the noise and the noise out of the New Yorker, but internal speed is immutable. Spend two minutes with Russell Simmons and the root of his “Rush” nickname becomes obvious.

It’s 9 a.m. and the Queens-bred mogul has already meditated and taken his two daughters to

school. He moved last year to this two-story, Buddha-filled, Beverly Hills – adjacent estate to be close to them. And now, at an hour when most are groggily taking their first sip of coffee, Simmons hits the elliptical machine at a sprinter’s pace, fielding phone calls with a caustic tongue, espousing the virtues of meditative stillness.

“You find yourself feeling brighter with better brain functionality. You feel more connected and awake,” says Simmons, a Jivamukti yoga devotee, transcendental meditation apostle and spiritual seeker. “Enlightenment sounds slightly frivolous and lofty, but the idea of living fully present and awakened all the time? I believe in it.”

In addition to past lives as the co-founder of Def Jam and creator of Phat Farm, Simmons is the co-author (with Chris Morrow) of the new meditation primer Success Through Stillness. The Gotham Books release currently sits zazen at No. 6 on the New York Times Best Seller List (“Advice, How-To, Miscellaneous” division).

Besides spreading the dharma, the book chronicles Simmons’ evolution from party animal to animal rights activist, humanitarian and urban yogi. It outlines meditation’s physical and psychic benefits, while demystifying and dispelling all potential reservations, including lack of time or religious conflict.
Simmons also details his success in sharing the tradition with Ellen De-Generes, Oprah Winfrey and the stars of the NBA’s Miami Heat.

“I started going to yoga for the chicks, but soon started reading yoga sutras and learning the meaning of yoga.” Simmons speaks swiftly in his workout room, sweating in a crimson hoodie, gray sweatpants and beaded pendant.

“I got addicted,” Simmons, 56, says. “You still want be high and dumb down the noise; the best thing besides drugs was yoga and then meditation.”




Posted on October 9, 2012