Rev Run is an American rapper, DJ, record producer, and TV personality who has an estimated net worth of $60 million.
Rev Run first rose to fame in the 1980s as a founding member of the influential hip-hop group Run-DMC. He has had tremendous success not only through his music career but also through various business ventures and media projects.
Rev Run Net Worth
Rev Run has amassed an impressive fortune over his long career. According to the Celebrity Net Worth, Rev Run has an estimated net worth of $60 million as of 2024.
The vast majority of Rev Run’s wealth comes from his music career. As a founding member of Run-DMC, one of the most successful hip-hop groups of all time, Rev Run rose to fame in the 1980s and released a string of platinum-selling albums that have sold over 30 million copies globally. Royalties from these album sales have contributed significantly to Rev Run’s current multi-millionaire status.
Additionally, Rev Run has earned millions from various business ventures and endorsements. He founded the influential Phat Farm clothing line in the 1990s, which brought in over $100 million in revenue at its peak.
Early Life and Education
Joseph Ward Simmons was born on November 14, 1964, in Hollis, Queens, in New York City. He grew up as the younger brother of artist Danny Simmons and influential music promoter Russell Simmons.
As a teen, Joseph attended August Martin High School in Queens alongside their friend Darryl “DMC” McDaniel. However, he dropped out before graduating as his music career with Run-DMC began taking off.
Growing up, Joseph was exposed to the burgeoning hip-hop scene in New York City in the late 1970s. His brother Russell promoted local artists like Kurtis Blow, while Joseph began honing his talents as a DJ. He got the nickname “Run” from his quick turntable techniques.
Though his formal education stopped at high school, Run received invaluable early experience and connections within the rap world through his brother Russell. By 1983, Run had founded the rap trio Run–DMC alongside DMC and DJ Jam Master Jay.
Joseph Ward Simmons (who went by the stage name “Rev Run”) founded the rap group Run-DMC along with high school friend Darryl “DMC” McDaniels in 1981. With the addition of DJ Jason “Jam Master Jay” Mizell, Run-DMC helped define the early sound of hip hop with hits like “It’s Like That,” “Sucker MCs,” and “King of Rock.”
They were the first rap group to earn a platinum record and land mainstream success with collaborations with artists like Aerosmith. Considered pioneers of the hip-hop genre, Run-DMC is one of the best-selling hip-hop groups in history.
However, Run-DMC has sold over 30 million records worldwide and released eight studio albums. Their success helped introduce hip-hop to wider audiences around the world. In 2009, Run-DMC became just the second rap group to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Source of Income
Rev Run has built his vast net worth through a diverse range of music, business, and entertainment endeavors over the past four decades. The bulk of his wealth stems from his legendary music career with Run-DMC, one of the highest-grossing rap groups of all time. Album sales, touring revenue, and royalties have contributed millions over the years.
However, Rev Run has earned huge sums from various business ventures like his fashion line Phat Farm, which grew into a $100 million brand in the 1990s.
He also starred in the popular MTV reality series “Run’s House” from 2005-2009, allowing him to capitalize on TV payouts. Also, other income streams come from book deals, appearances in commercials and films, brand endorsements, and more.
Rev Run has amassed wealth not just through album sales but through various investments and endorsements over the years. He had an endorsement deal with Adidas in the 1980s and launched Phat Farm, a popular hip-hop apparel and fashion line, in 1992.
In 2005, Rev Run and his family starred in their own MTV reality show, “Run’s House,” which ran for six seasons until 2009. He continues to DJ and speak at college campuses and events around the country today as a solo act.
Rev Run is also the author of several advice books, including “Take Back Your Family: A Challenge to America’s Parents” and “Success Through Stillness: Meditation Made Simple.”
Salary and Earnings
Rev Run was earning a small fortune from album sales, tours, and endorsements. Though exact figures are undisclosed, Run-DMC was reportedly making over $500k per major tour in addition to millions in royalties from triple platinum records like Raising Hell.
Beyond music, Rev Run struck gold with the launch of his Phat Farm clothing brand in the 1990s. As founder he likely took home multi-million dollar checks annually before selling the over $100 million company. He also earned big for reality TV stardom in the 2000s, banking around $60k per episode for MTV’s “Run’s House” by season three.
Even later in his career, income continues rolling in through DJ tour fees up to $200k, six-figure book deals with HarperCollins, and $50k or more for speaking engagements. Combined with residuals and smart investments, Rev Run maintains elite financial status.
Rev Run married two times in his life. First, he married Valerie Vaughn in 1983. The couple have three children together. They are Angela, Vanessa, and Joseph Jr. Vanessa and Angela, both of whom starred in “Run’s House” and Jojo Simmons. Rev Run split from his first wife in 1992.
After the divorce, he married his second and current wife, Justine Simmons (née Jones), in 1994. Together, they have two sons and a daughter: Daniel (Diggy) Russell II and Miley Justine.
An outspoken born-again Christian, Rev Run regularly speaks about his faith. He faced personal tragedy when his eldest daughter, Victoria Anne Simmons, died shortly after being born prematurely in 2006.
As Rev Run’s fortune and fame grew enormously over his long career, he made sure to give back by supporting various charitable causes and organizations.
He has been a public advocate for adopting healthier lifestyles and disease prevention within underserved communities. Rev Run co-founded the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation in 1995 alongside his brothers Russell and Danny Simmons. The organization works to provide urban youth access to arts education programs.
Additionally, Rev Run personally funds the Joseph Simmons Scholarship Fund at his former high school alma mater, August Martin High School, in Queens, New York.
FAQs on Rev Run Net Worth
How did Rev get so rich?
Rev Run built his vast $60 million net worth primarily through his music career with the legendary rap trio Run-DMC. They released eight studio albums and became one of the best-selling hip-hop acts ever, with over 30 million records sold worldwide.
What businesses does Rev Run own?
Rev Run co-founded the iconic 90’s fashion brand Phat Farm, which grew into a company valued at over $100 million thanks to its popularity within hip-hop culture. He also found success on TV starring in “Run’s House” on MTV for six seasons from 2005-2009.
Is Rev Run still touring and performing?
Though Run-DMC is no longer together after the 2002 murder of DJ Jam Master Jay, Rev Run still regularly tours the country as a solo artist and DJ. He also earns income from book deals, public speaking events, and appearances in commercials, films and TV shows.
What charities does Rev support?
Rev Run supports various youth-focused charities and health initiatives. He co-founded Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, which provides arts programs to urban youth. He also financially aids his former high school’s scholarship fund and serves as an ambassador for the American Heart Association.
Rev Run’s successful career in the public eye has cemented his place as a true hip-hop legend. As one of rap’s pioneering artists who brought the genre into the mainstream with Run-DMC, he amassed tremendous fame and success that would eventually earn him a net worth of $60 million.
While the vast majority of Rev Run’s wealth stemmed from album sales and touring with Run-DMC in the 80s and 90s, his fortune was also built through other savvy business decisions over the years, like launching Phat Farm and starring in reality TV.