A look back on the illustrious career of media legend and history-maker Donnie Simpson after bowing out

Abu Mubarik January 23, 2024
Donnie Simpson. Photo: Radio Hall of Fame

Donnie Simpson has been described as an icon, trailblazer, and a media legend who became a radio host in Detroit and Washington, D.C. areas. 

After 55 years in broadcasting, he signed off for the last time on Majic 102.3 and 92.7. Friday, January 12, was the last day of “The Donnie Simpson Show” on MAJIC 102.3. Simpson, who emphasized that he is not retiring, will now focus on his podcast and the reboot of the TV show “Video Soul.”

“Today’s the day. Please make sure you tune into my last day … Let’s celebrate together as I thank each [and] every one of you for your support during my 55 years in radio,” Simpson posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.

As host of WMMJ (Majic 102.3) in Washington D.C. as well as the face of TV-One’s “Donnie After Dark,” he captivated audiences with his signature style, according to Washington Informer.

Originally from Detroit, Simpson’s unique personality and style of broadcasting gained him international fame. Simpson started earning acclaim at WKYS and WMMJ in Washington and would earn the nickname “Love Bug”, becoming also known for his sultry voice, warm smile, and piercing green eyes. He worked with WKYS for 15 years before joining WPGC-FM in 1993, where he continued to captivate listeners for the next 17 years.

He became one of America’s first video jockeys, hosting iconic shows like BET’s “Video Soul.” By 1988, he was recognized by Billboard magazine as both the best top radio personality and top program director in the nation. The awards would place him in an elite group of nationally popular and highly respected Radio Personalities and Radio Station Program Directors in America.

In 2010, he retired from radio broadcasting but returned to the airwaves and television screens in 2015 as the afternoon drive host on WMMJ, Majic 102.3 in Washington D.C., and nationally on TV-One with Donnie After Dark.

According to the legendary radio host, the greatest compliment people give him is when they say “I feel like I know you.” He said, “They do know me. I’m the same dude all the time. 24/7, I’m Donnie.”

Throughout his career, Donnie has hosted several celebrities. They include Stevie Wonder, Prince, Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, David Bowie, Janet Jackson, James Brown, Sting, Usher, Jay-Z, The Notorious B.I.G., Tupac, Madonna, Smokey Robinson, President Clinton, Tom Hanks, Barry White, and so many others. 

His versatility behind the mic saw him being inducted into the BET Walk of Fame in 2004 and The R&B Music Hall of Fame in 2015, making him the only non-musician so honored at that point. What is more, he was inducted into The Radio Hall of Fame Class of 2020.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: January 23, 2024

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