Russell Simmons wears many hats – business magnate, author, designer, and philanthropist. From creating his seminal Def Jam Recordings music label in 1984 and launching fashion brands Phat Farm, Baby Phat and Argyleculture, to the founding of financial services provider UniRush and establishment of GlobalGrind.com, Mr. Simmons is recognized globally for his influence and entrepreneurial approach to both business and philanthropy. He is also the author of a number of books, including several New York Times best-sellers. _
Mr. Simmons recently announced the launch of three new ventures—his original-content YouTube channel, All Def Digital; All Def Music, a next generation music label in partnership with Universal Music Group, created to sign, develop and promote artists on YouTube; and the recently formed marketing, entertainment and technology agency NARRATIVE. _
Giving back is of primary importance to him in all aspects of life, and, as Chairman and CEO of Rush Communications, Mr. Simmons has consistently leveraged his influence in the recording industry, fashion, television, financial services and jewelry sectors to give back. A devoted yogi, Mr. Simmons also leads the non-profit division of his empire, Rush Community Affairs, and its ongoing commitment to empowering at-risk youth through education, the arts, social engagement and promoting racial harmony and strengthening inter-group relations. In 1995, Mr. Simmons and his brothers co-founded Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, a nonprofit that provides arts education programs to inner-city students by putting galleries and teaching artists in public schools and offers exhibition opportunities to emerging and mid-career artists. _
As a Turnaround Artist, Mr. Simmons has adopted Fremont-Lopez Elementary School in Stockton, CA and Whaley Middle School in Compton, CA.
“I am deeply honored to be part of President Obama’s Turnaround Arts initiative. For over a decade I have worked to bring the arts to deserving yet often overlooked public school students. Partnering with the White House to help fill this void means even more of our youth will be able to flex their creative muscles and imagine a better future for themselves.”