Joseph Ward Simmons is one of the founding members of hip hop group Run-D.M.C.. He is known as DJ Run, Joey Simmons or Rev Run, which is a play on his religious title. Born in Hollis, Queens, New York, he is the younger brother of Daniel "Danny" Simmons, Jr and Russell Simmons, Def Jam Records co-founder. He entered the scene via his older brother Russell, as a DJ for his first big act for Kurtis Blow. He assumed the alias 'Son of Kurtis Blow', but later changed it to "Run Love".
He found new popularity in 2005 with his family MTV reality show Run's House. Contents
Simmons married Valerie Vaughn in 1983, and had three children with her: Vanessa Simmons, Angela Simmons, and Joseph Jr (Jojo Simmons). He married Justine Jones on June 25, 1994. With her, he had three more children: Daniel "Diggy" Simmons III, Russell "Russy" Simmons Jr, and Victoria Anne Simmons. Victoria died shortly after birth on September 26, 2006. Victoria was four pounds, five ounces when she was delivered via caesarean section . She died shortly after being born reportedly due to omphalocele, a birth defect that caused her organs to grow outside her body . The Simmons family decided to allow camera crews to be in the hospital room as they broke the news to their children. They wanted to show viewers how, as a family, they dealt with this terrible tragedy.
The couple has since adopted a girl, named Miley Justine Simmons.
Joseph "Run" Simmons founded Run-D.M.C. as a lead vocalist (MC) along with MC'ing friend Darryl "DMC" McDaniels and the Late DJ Jason "Jam-Master Jay" Mizell. The group's work is considered to be inventive and original, using numerous revolutionary styles, including the pioneering work of Jam-Master Jay. Run began using the stage name of "Rev Run" after he was ordained as a minister in Zoe Ministries. His first work as Rev Run was a feature in the single "Song 4 Lovers" by UK pop band Liberty X in September 2005. The music video for that song was directed by Bill Schacht for Aestheticom and reached broadcast airplay chart positions of #2 Box UK and #4 MTV UK with heavy rotation on 5 other music channels in the UK.
It was followed by his first solo album, Distortion. The first single from the album, "Mind On The Road", is featured in the EA Sports's Madden NFL 06 video game. "Mind On The Road" uses samples from the song "I Love Rock 'N Roll", in the tradition of Run-DMC's 1980s hits using samples like Aerosmith's hit "Walk This Way".
Joseph appeared on stage with Kid Rock, Travis McCoy, and two of his sons on New Year's Eve 2007 on MTV.
Rev Run appears on the MTV series Run's House, a reality show revolving around his everyday life with his family.
In 2002, he appeared on a special "Rap Stars" edition of The Weakest Link and ended up being the third one voted off.
In 2007, He appeared with his son Diggy on My Super Sweet 16 while attending a 16th birthday party for Diddy's son, Quincy. Diddy is also the producer of Run's House.
In 2008, Rev Run and his wife Justine teamed up with Kool-Aid and a non-profit organization called KaBOOM! to help build playgrounds in under served communities. With Kool-Aid, they are helping to build 24 playgrounds over the course of 2008 and hope to raise awareness for the need for safe play spaces.
On August 5, 2008 Gotham Press published Rev Run's first book, Take Back Your Family: A Challenge to America's Parents, coauthored by his wife, Justine Simmons, and Chrisifer Morrow.