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. He was Billboard's "1998 Air Personality of the Year". He has also been known by the nicknames, "Love Bugg" and "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 hadn't said what he'll do next.  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.
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 thru Friday from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM (EST) on Majic 102.3 FM.
Simpson graduated from Edwin Denby High School in 1971 as Class President. In 1973, he married Pamela Coleman. He has 2 grown children, 4 grandchildren, a sister and 3 brothers including a twin brother, Lonnie Simpson, who resides in Detroit and pastors a church alongside his wife.
- "A New Dawn for Donnie". The Washington Post, March 12, 1993. Retrieved August 18, 2015.
- Farhi, Paul (January 30, 2010). "The stars and the faithful pay tribute to D.C. radio icon Donnie Simpson". Washington Post. Retrieved January 30, 2010.
- "Radio Legend Donnie Simpson to Return to Air in D.C. This Month". NBC Washington. August 3, 2015. Retrieved August 3, 2015.