January 30, 1954 |
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
|Occupation||Disc 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. Currently, he hosts The Donnie Simpson Show on D.C.-based radio station WMMJ-FM (Majic 102.3 FM), which began airing on August 17, 2015. Simpson is the first urban-format radio personality to have an annual salary over $1 million without being syndicated. In 2003, Simpson, through his agent and longtime friend, George Parker (Education), inked a 6-year, 8-figure deal with WPGC-FM making Simpson the highest paid African-American radio personality ever without syndication. He was Billboard's Radio Personality of the Year and Program Director of the Year. He has also been known by the nicknames, "Love Bug", "The Green-eyed Bandit" and "Dr. Green Eyes" for his luminous, light green eyes.
Donnie Simpson is the ruling Washington, D.C. radio icon, as well as a television and movie personality. He hosted The Donnie Simpson Morning Show in Morning Drive for over 30 years. In 1988, Donnie was recognized as both the best (Top) radio personality and Top program director in the nation by Billboard Magazine, the world's most influential music industry publication. He received both Billboard's prestigious Radio Personality of the Year and Program Director of the Year awards. These two distinguished awards placed Donnie in an elite group of nationally popular and highly respected Radio Personalities and Radio Station Program Directors that very few in the industry have been able to achieve.
Donnie Simpson, known for his sultry voice, warm smile and piercing green eyes, is the son of a record shop owner. Having been exposed to multiple genres of music, Simpson began his radio career at age 15 with WJLB in Detroit, MI where he remained for eight years. He relocated to Washington D.C. in 1977 where he began working at WRC-FM, now WKYS, as a DJ 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, Simpson landed his first television job on WRC-TV, hired as back-up anchor for the George Michael Sports Machine show on NBC's Washington outlet. Soon after he hosted Video Soul, a music video show on BET and many other network specials. Simpson eventually hosted The Donnie Simpson Morning Show on WPGC-FM where he continued to captivate listeners for 17 years. He left radio in 2010.
In 1983, Simpson was recruited by Robert L. Johnson (Bob Johnson), founder of Black Entertainment Television BET, to host the network's primetime music video show, Video Soul. Simpson remained with the show until its cancellation in 1997. Over several decades, Donnie has hosted many network specials and tributes. He has interviewed the biggest stars in the world, including Stevie Wonder, Prince (musician), Elton John, Aretha Franklin, David Bowie, Janet Jackson, James Brown, Usher (singer), Jay-Z, Notorious BIG, Whitney Houston, Tupac, Madonna (entertainer), Smokey Robinson, and many others. In 2004, Donnie was inducted into the BET Walk of Fame. And, in 2015, he was inducted into the Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame, the only non-musician so honored at that point.
His fans and friends who go back with him to his early beginnings in Detroit, call him "Love Bug." His on-air moniker then was Donnie "The Love Bug” Simpson. Now, people often call him "The Green-eyed Bandit" or, "Dr. Green Eyes" because of his appearance on The Jamie Foxx Show.
He retired in 2010, but returned to radio and TV in 2015. This time, as the afternoon drive host on WMMJ, or Majic 102.3 in Washington, D.C., and nationally on TV One (U.S. TV network) with Donnie After Dark. Donnie says the greatest compliment people give him is when they say “I feel like I know you.” He says, “They do know me. I’m the same dude all the time. 24/7, I’m Donnie.”
On August 17, 2015, Donnie Simpson came out of retirement and returned to the radio airwaves, this time on WMMJ (a Radio One station based in D.C.) to host The Donnie Simpson Show.  The show airs Monday through Friday from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM (EST) on Majic 102.3 FM. On February 5, 2016, Donnie After Dark (hosted by Donnie Simpson) began airing on TV One.
- "A New Dawn for Donnie". The Washington Post, March 12, 1993. Retrieved August 18, 2015.
- "Radio Legend Donnie Simpson to Return to Air in D.C. This Month". NBC Washington. August 3, 2015. Retrieved August 3, 2015.