You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Russell Simmons Celebrates 15th Anniversary of Art for Life Benefit

Bridgehampton got a little more colorful Saturday when Russell Simmons’ Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation celebrated the 15th anniversary of its Art for Life benefit.

Prior to the start of the program, which was emceed by Soledad O’Brien, guests were encouraged to tour the displays of artwork by Rush students, which included renditions of the famous Barack Obama “Hope” poster designed by Shepard Fairey.

Although the artwork took center stage at Fairview Farms, Simmons made sure to acknowledge some of those who have helped his foundation (co-founded with brothers Danny and Joseph “Rev Run” Simmons) reach more than 3,000 inner-city children every year. Although Simmons introduced Michael Bloomberg as an honoree, Bloomberg talked about how Simmons should be the one receiving the accolades, even if they don’t always see eye to eye.

“Sometimes he and I have disagreed, and I’ve defended his right to be wrong and I will continue to do that,” Bloomberg joked. “But we’re all here to help each other… Russell Simmons is one of those people who continuously does it.”

But the former mayor of New York proceeded to talk about the importance of art.

“Art is something that helps us think,” he added. “Art is something that broadens our experiences and makes us appreciate each other. If we teach our kids to appreciate art then when they’re adults they’ll help the next generation.”

The Rush Foundation also honored Lava Records’ CEO Jason Flom, but he, too, took the time to commemorate Simmons’ efforts. The music exec joked that his fellow music mogul has redefined the term “Renaissance Man.”

“It was Russell who brought Shakespeare to rap, brought comedy to hip hop and most important of all, he brought half-naked models to yoga,” he quipped. “Now that’s what I call a real contribution to society.”

Although the evening included a special presentation of the inaugural recipients of the Kimora Lee Simmons Scholarship Fund, the fashion designer was unable to attend. She had donated $1 million to her namesake fund.

Before Naughty By Nature, Kurtis Blow and Doug E. Fresh took to the stage to perform, Simmons rallied the crowd into donating more to his foundation. Before he got off the stage, he had raised about $286,000. There was also an online auction via Charitybuzz that included meet and greets with Michael Strahan, Nick Cannon and LL Cool J.

(Pictured: Robert Kraft, Russell Simmons, Ming Lee Simmons and Rick Ross at the Art for Life Benefit)

More Music

  • Billie Eilish

    Billie Eilish Fans to Receive Perks Due to Chicago Venue Change

    Billie Eilish and her music agents at Paradigm are experiencing what most would call a first class problem. The demand to see the 17-year-old singer live has prompted a change of venue for her June 9 show in Chicago — from the 5,000-capacity Aragon Ballroom to the 20,000-plus-seat United Center arena. The last-minute venue change [...]

  • Moby Natalie Portman

    Moby Accuses Natalie Portman of Lying as the Two Spar Over Dating Claims

    In what’s become a he said/she said spat in multiple mediums, Moby, the elder statesman of electronic music, is now accusing actress Natalie Portman of lying and pleading to those on social media for his safety as “physical threats from complete strangers” emerge. To recap: this month, Moby released a new book, “Then It All [...]

  • Ellen DeGeneres Buys Adam Levine’s Beverly

    Adam Levine Cashes in on Sale of Max Mutchnick’s Former Mansion to Ellen DeGeneres

    Adam Levine and Behati Prinsloo have sold a baronial Beverly Hills mansion with an illustrious chain of ownership for a reported $45 million to Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi. The mainstream radio rock star, who, it was announced Friday, will not to return as a coach on “The Voice,” and the Namibian-born Victoria’s Secret [...]

  • Kanye West Shares a Memory of

    Kanye West Shares a Touching Memory of His Mother in Letterman Interview

    In a preview of David Letterman’s interview with Kanye West, which begins streaming next Friday, May 31, the musician’s wife Kim Kardashian West, tweeted a clip of him sharing a touching memory of his mother, Donda, who died in 2007 after a surgical procedure. While his wife looks on smiling, West answers Letterman’s question about [...]

  • Dan the Automator

    Heeding the Call of Olivia Wilde, Dan the Automator Scores 'Booksmart'

    Dan The Automator, aka Daniel Nakamura, knows a thing or two about setting a mood. The Bay Area-based producer has worked on projects such as Gorillaz’s debut album, Handsome Boy Modeling School (with Prince Paul) and multiple projects with rapper Kool Keith. Now, Nakamura has set his sights on film scoring, and will make his [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content