Born October 4, 1957, Russell Simmons is an American entrepreneur, record executive, and producer. By co-founding the hip hop music label Def Jam Recordings, Russell played a pivotal role in bringing the genre to the forefront in the music industry. Although he found a lot of success in his life, his image has been tarnished due to many serious sexual misconduct and assault allegations against him.
How Did Russell Simmons Earn His Money?
Russell Simmons briefly attended the City College of New York in Harlem, after he graduated high school in 1975, but when he heard Eddie Cheeba play in 1977, he knew that he wanted a career in hip-hop. So, he dropped out of school and went on to work with local musicians, including his little brother Joseph Simmons (better known as Rev Run) and his group, who would later go on to become Run-DMC. Fast forward a few years, and in 1983, he is brought on board as an equal partner to Def Jam and is named co-founder of the music label with Rick Rubin.
The next year, the label released rapper LL Cool J’s hip-hop single “I Need a Beat,” which helped them put their name on the industry’s map. The label has also released music for artists like Beastie Boys, amongst many others. After a lot of success, in 1996, Rick Rubin sold his shares in the company for $120 million to Universal Music Group, and three years after that, in 1999, Russell sold the remainder of Def Jam to Seagram for $130 million. But, he still has a lot of influence in the hip-hop industry.
Apart from this, Russell started a production company and helped create shows like ‘Def Comedy Jam’ and ‘Def Poetry Jam.’ His company Rush Communications, Inc. contains ten businesses and three non-profit organizations. Through this, he has gone on to produce movies like ‘The Nutty Professor’ and ‘Def Jam’s How to Be a Player.’
In 1992, Russell launched a clothing line by the name of Phat Fashions LLC, which provided hip-hop clothing not just for men but for women and children as well. This was followed by the brand expanding to selling accessories and Russell opening two new clothing lines by the name of ArgyleCulture and Tantris. While the former focuses on clothes for millennial men, the latter sells yoga apparel.
Along with all this, Russell has also written various books, which are a combination of biography, self-help, and street smarts. In 2001 he published “Life and Def: Sex, Drugs, Money, and God,” which was followed by “Do You!: 12 Laws to Access the Power in You to Achieve Happiness and Success” and “Super Rich: A Guide to Having It All” in 2007 and 2011 respectively. There have been other books, but his most recent one was published in 2015 and was titled “The Happy Vegan: A Guide to Living a Long, Healthy, and Successful Life.”
Russell Simmons Net Worth 2020
With his highly successful and legendary music label along with all of his other ventures, Russell Simmons has managed to accumulate a net worth of $340 million as of 2020. Yes, his work as the Chairman and CEO of Rush Communications, Inc. had a massive contribution to his wealth, but the primary source remains his work as a producer in the entertainment industry.
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