Radio icon Donnie Simpson takes final bow after 55 years in broadcasting

An icon, trailblazer, and media legend, Simpson held a commanding presence in Washington, D.C.


Legendary radio and media personality Donnie Simpson signed off, possibly for the last time, on Friday, January 12. The illustrious career that spanned an incredible 55 years ended with a heartfelt message from the iconic DJ himself. 

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

An icon, trailblazer, and media legend, Simpson held a commanding presence in Washington, D.C.

He gained international fame as a television and movie personality. From his early beginnings in Detroit to his stints at WKYS and WMMJ in Washington, he etched his name in the history of radio.

A true industry pioneer, Simpson was one of America’s first video jockeys, hosting iconic shows like BET’s “Video Soul.” His achievements reached new heights when, in 1988, Billboard Magazine recognized him as both the best top radio personality and top program director in the nation.

After retiring in 2010, Simpson triumphantly returned to the airwaves and television screens in 2015. As the afternoon drive host on WMMJ, Majic 102.3 in Washington D.C., and the face of TV-One’s “Donnie After Dark,” he continued to captivate audiences with his signature style.

As noted in his bio, Simpson started in Detroit as the “Love Bug.” Simpson’s passion for music, nurtured in his mother’s record shop, laid the groundwork for an extraordinary career. He connected with the biggest stars globally throughout the years, showcasing his talent and versatility.

Simpson’s television career soared as he anchored sports and hosted “Video Soul” on BET. In 2021, he announced the revival of “Video Soul.”

Honored with inductions into the BET Walk of Fame (2004) and the R&B Hall of Fame of Class of 2020, Simpson’s legacy is cemented in the annals of entertainment history.

“I’m going to miss doing the show, Donnie’s going to miss it, too, but he’s got some great things planned,” wrote News4 anchor Tony Perkins, who joined “The Donnie Simpson Show” in the 3 p.m. slot six years ago. “We loved doing the show. Thank you for all the responses on social media.”

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