Russell Simmons Stay true, and they'll come to you
By Ellen McGirt

(MONEY Magazine) – Russell Simmons learned early on that catering to a mass audience doesn't work. As a young hip-hop promoter, he kept his acts, like Kurtis Blow and Run-DMC, true to their urban roots rather than forcing them to mimic of mainstream '80s pop. He didn't just keep it real, he jammed ghetto style down people's throats. As Simmons says: "Stay in your lane. If you're good enough, people will move to you." He ignited a phenomenon and now has a multibillion-dollar music, clothing, financial and media empire. The deeply spiritual Simmons, 46, credits the people around him for his success: "I'm open-minded about sharing and partnering." --E.M.