Hamptons producer and entrepreneur Russell Simmons earned the Visionary Award at the 24th Annual Producers Guild of America Awards in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles on Saturday.
The hip hop mogul was joined by daughters Ming Lee, who turned 13 on January 21, and Aoki Lee, 10, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, where the ceremony was held. Before the event, he tweeted, “Being honored by PGA (hollywood establishment) is humbling. Taking my girls to Gala. Should be fun.”
Simmons was recognized for “his dedication to philanthropy and his work as a film and television producer who breaks down barriers to provide opportunities to emerging talent,” the PGA explained in a statement prior to the awards show last week. “From the seminal television series Def Comedy Jam to his role as a UN Goodwill Ambassador, Simmons continues to inspire people through his work as a creative and cultural visionary.”
“Throughout his career, Russell has accomplished the kinds of things that only a true visionary can,” said 2013 PGA Awards Chair Michael DeLuca. “He has seamlessly bridged the worlds of hip-hop music and filmed entertainment through poetry, comedy and music, offering viewers and music fans alike not just a reflection of themselves, but a hopeful glimpse of a world filled with art, joy and compassion. Whether he’s championing new voices behind the mic, onstage, onscreen or in the classroom, or he is working to raise awareness about the victims of the global slave trade, Russell envisions a world populated by our ‘better angels,’ and for that, I’m very proud to call him my friend and we are so pleased to honor him with the 2013 Producers Guild of America Visionary Award.”
Honored by the recognition, Simmons said, “I’m sincerely humbled that the PGA chose me to receive a Visionary Award. Just to be in the room with all those in the industry is a blessing.”