Russell Simmons Net Worth 2023: Veteran of the music industry with an immense wealth 

Russell Simmons is an American entrepreneur with a net worth of more than $400 Million. He is also a record executive and producer. Simmons is best known for co-founding the hip-hop music label Def Jam Recordings. Additionally, he is also a co-founder of fashion lines Tantris, Argyleculture, and Phat Farm. 

He has been a successful name in the music industry for decades. Over the period of time, he has expanded his business into various fields including fashion, finance, etc. He is also known for his social activism promoting animal rights, gay rights, marriage equality, etc. Check out this post to know more interesting details about the life of Russell Simmons.

An Introduction to Russell Simmons 

NameRussell Simmons
Age65 Years
ProfessionEntrepreneur, Record Executive, and Writer
Years Active 1984 to Present
Best Known ForCo-Founding Def Jam Recordings

Russell Simmons Income, Earnings, and Financial Status

Simmons is one of the best entrepreneurs in the music industry. He co-founded Def Jam in 1984 and has been minting a lot of money since then. To further enhance his wealth, he launched Phat Fashion clothing lines in 1992.  

This clothing line includes brands like Phat Farm and Baby Phat. He sold his stake in Phat Farm & Baby Farm to Kellwood Company for $140 million in 2004. Through Def Jam, Simmons helped launch the careers of many legendary artists like LL Cool J, Jay-Z, etc. According to reports, his annual income is around $40 million. One of the best things about Simmons is that he likes giving back to society through his social activism.

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Russell Simmons Biography 

Russell Wendell Simmons was born on October 4th, 1957 in Queens, New York. He grew up in a middle-class family. His father was a public school administrator. On the other hand, his mother was a park administrator for the New York City Parks and Recreation Department. Simmons has two brothers named Daniel Simmons Jr. and Joseph Simmons. Daniel is a painter and Joseph Simmons is a member of the Hip-Hop club Run-DMC.

He graduated from August Martin High School in 1975. Then, he briefly attended the City College of New York in Harlem. This is where he met DJ/Bboy (Kurt Walker) who introduced him to the world of hip-hop. He became determined to join the hip-hop scene upon seeing the performance of Eddie Cheeba in 1977.  Along with Rick Rubin, Russell founded Def Jam in 1984. He has already worked with multiple top-notch artists including Kanye West, DMX, Public Enemy, etc. 

Full NameRussell Wendell Simmons
Date of birthOctober 4th 1957
Birth Place Queens, New York City, United States
FatherDaniel Simmons
Mother Evelyn Simmon
Siblings2 Brothers
BrothersDaniel Simmons Jr., and Joseph Simmons
SchoolAugust Martin High School
CollegeCity College of New York
Zodiac SignLibra
Height5 Feet and 9 Inches (177 cm)
Weight84 Kg (185 lbs)
Eye ColorBlack
Hair ColorBlack
Marital StatusDivorced
Ex-WifeKimora Lee Perkins
Children2 daughters
DaughtersMing Lee Simmons, and Aoki Lee Simmons
Eating Habit Vegan

Ex-Wife and Daughters

Russell Simmons was married to Kimora Lee from 1998 to 2009. Kimora is a model and fashion designer who has worked with top brands like Chanel. After getting divorced from Russell Simmons, she married Tim Leissner in 2014. Russell Simmons and Kimora Lee have two daughters together. 

The names of the daughters are Ming Lee Simmons (born January 2000) and Aoki Lee Simmons (born August 2002). Aoki is a part-time model and a Harvard graduate. Ming Lee Simmons is an internet personality.

Social Activism and Belief

Russell Simmons is not only famous for his contributions to the music industry but also his social activism and beliefs. He has been a vegan since 1999. Plus, He has been a vocal supporter of animal rights. In addition, Simmons practices Jivamukti Yoga and has been a longtime practitioner of Transcendental Meditation (TM). 

In many interviews, Russell Simmons identified himself as a Christian yogi who believes in the power of meditation. He also said that he respects every religion and belief. Simmons credits his spiritual practices for keeping him grounded and centered in this chaotic world.

Awards and Recognition

Russell Simmons is often recognized for his humanitarian efforts. In 2001, he was awarded the PETA Humanitarian Award by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. The aim of this award was to recognize his efforts/ advocacy towards animal welfare and a vegan lifestyle. 

In 2011, Simmons was once again recognized by PETA. The organization named him as the Person of the Year. This award was given to him for his continued work in promoting/ supporting animal rights and his efforts to raise awareness about the benefits of a plant-based diet. Simmons has been a vocal advocate for the welfare of both humans and animals. He has used his platforms to bring attention to important issues affecting the society.


Russell Simmons recently sold his former Saddle River Mansion for approximately $18 million. This mansion was listed for $18.99 million. Following the sale of his former mansion, Simmons has purchased a new house in the Hollywood Hills.

This new house features five bedrooms and 6,000 square feet of living space, with Mediterranean architecture. The house is situated in a prime location and offers stunning views of the city. This house is closer to where his daughter lives with his former wife Kimora Lee. When asked about this house, Russell Simmons said that he loves this home because he found peace there. Plus, it is perfect for his Yoga sessions. 

Professional Journey of Russell Simmons 

Check out the following timeline to see the journey of Russell Simmons. 

  • 1984 – Co-founded Def Jam
  • 1985 – Co-produced and appeared in the film Krush Groove.
  • 1992 – Launched the clothing line Phat Fashions LLC
  • 1996 – Co-produced the hit film The Nutty Professor starring Eddie Murphy
  • 1997 – Co-produced the film Def Jam’s How to Be a Player starring Bill Bellamy
  • 2002 – Became Chairman of the board of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding
  • 2003 – Co-founded RushCard (A prepaid debit card provider)
  • 2004 – Sold Phat Farm and Baby Phat to the Kellwood Company 
  • 2004 – Created Russell Simmons Music Group (RSMG)
  • 2009 – Became Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Slavery Memorial at the United Nations 
  • 2011 – Endoresed the second Muslim Jewish Conference.
  • 2022 – Became a senior advisor of the vegan burger brand “Everything Legendary”.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the net worth of Russell Simmons in 2023?

As of 2023, the net worth of Russell Simmons is around $400 Million.

Has Russell Simmons been involved in any controversies?

He has been involved in many controversies including allegations of assault and sexual misconduct. However, he has denied all of these allegations.

Is Russell Simmons a vegan?

Yes, he is a vegan.

Which books has Russell Simmons written?

He has written several books such as Success Through Stillness: Meditation, Super Rich: A Guide to having it all, Russell Simmons’s Laws of Success, The Happy Vegan, Eat to Live: A Post-Pandemic Lifestyle, etc.

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