January 30, 1954 |
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
|Occupation||Disk Jockey, Television Personality|
|Partner(s)||Pamela Gibson (m. 1973)|
Donnie Simpson (born January 30, 1954) is a longtime American radio DJ as well as a television and movie personality. He hosted The Donnie Simpson Morning Show on Washington, D.C. radio station WPGC-FM from March 1993 to January 29, 2010. Simpson is the first urban-format radio personality to have an annual salary over $1 million without being syndicated. He was Billboard's "1998 Air Personality of the Year". He is also known by the nickname "Dr. Green Eyes" for his luminous light green eyes.
Simpson began his career at age 15 at Urban Contemporary radio station WJLB in Detroit, Michigan, where he remained for eight years. In 1977 he relocated to Washington, D.C., where he began working at WRC-FM, known as "Disco 93.9" (now WKYS), as morning drive host and program director. He remained with WKYS for 15 years through its format migration from Disco-based Rhythmic Contemporary Hits to Urban Contemporary in the 1980s. In 1981, he was hired as back-up anchor for the George Michael Sports Machine sports show on NBC's Washington television outlet, WRC-TV.
Simpson left WPGC-FM over a dispute with the station's owner, CBS Radio, regarding changes CBS requested to reverse falling ratings. On his final show, Simpson received phone call farewells from Toni Braxton, LL Cool J, Wyclef Jean, John Legend, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, and other musicians. As of January 2010[update], Simpson hasn't said what he'll do next. On the final WPGC-FM show, Simpson said he is not retiring, but his severance agreement prohibits him from taking another position on the radio in Washington, D.C. until March 2011. In 1983, Simpson was recruited by Bob Johnson, founder of BET, to host the network's primetime music video show, Video Soul. Simpson remained with the show until its cancellation in 1997. Between 1997 and 2000, Simpson hosted many network specials and tributes. In October 2004, he was inducted into the BET Walk of Fame.
In 1973, Simpson married Pamela Gibson. He has a twin brother, Lonnie Simpson, who resides in Detroit.
- Farhi, Paul (30 January 2010). "The stars and the faithful pay tribute to D.C. radio icon Donnie Simpson". Washington Post. Retrieved 30 January 2010.
- Donnie Simpson's biography page on WPGC-FM's website
- Leslie Milk and Ellen Ryan. "Washingtonians of the Year 2007: Donnie Simpson", Washingtonian, January 1, 2008.
- Donnie Simpson at the Internet Movie Database