Russell Simmons

From Def Jam to Super Rich

From the Series USA TODAY Lifeline Biographies

  • Interest Level: Grade 6 - Grade 12
  • Reading Level: Grade 7

As USA TODAY, the Nation’s No. 1 Newspaper, puts it, Russell Simmons “helped found the hip-hop movement and turn it into a huge money-making machine.” He co-founded Def Jam Records, one of the first successful hip-hop record labels. He also worked with many of hip-hop’s earliest stars, such as Run-D.M.C. and the Beastie Boys.

Raised in Queens, New York, Simmons grew up obsessed with music—and fought to make a life for himself in the music business. After helping push hip-hop into the mainstream, he took on fashion, film production, and advertising, among other projects. Later, he turned to activism, using his influence to aid different social causes. Throughout it all, Simmons has held onto his unique personal style and unmistakable attitude.

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Interest Level Grade 6 - Grade 12
Reading Level Grade 7
Genre Young Adult
Copyright 2012
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Twenty-First Century Books ™
Language English
Number of Pages 112
Publication Date 2012-01-01
Reading Counts! Level 9.4
Text Type Narrative Nonfiction
BISACS YAN006050, YAN006020
Dewey 782.421649092
Graphics Full-color illustrations
Dimensions 6 x 8.5
Lexile 1050
Features Bibliography/further reading, Glossary, Index, Photo captions, Sidebars, Source notes, and Table of contents

Author: Carrie Golus

Carrie Golus has been a freelance writer since 1991. She has written hundreds of magazine and newspaper articles, as well as website content, brochures, video scripts, press releases, and the text for a museum exhibition. She holds a BA and a MA in English language and literature from the University of Chicago. She has written several biographies for young readers.