Hip-hop mogul Russel Simmons is to be honored at the 22nd annual Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) Awards. The Def Jam Records co-founder will receive the Excellence in Media Award at the ceremony in recognition of his work promoting gay rights.
Simmons, a longtime campaigner for equal rights, wrote an open letter to former New York Governor David Paterson in 2009 to praise the leader for supporting gay marriage. Previous winners of the GLAAD honor include Joy Behar and model-turned-TV personality Tyra Banks.
The prizegiving will take place in New York City on March 19. Simmons will be honored along with Kristin Chenoweth, Ricky Martin and Robert Greenblatt, an NBC producer. The awards ceremony will also honor films, television programs and other media for outstanding performances and representation.