When I think of the DMV I think of the Mecca, Ben’s Chilli Bowl, and The Green-Eyed Bandit Donnie Simpson. When I landed at National Airport in DC with my stiff Howard University t-shirt I was anxious. I glanced at my uncle to tell him not to take me to freshman orientation and then I heard the melody of the Commodores’ Jesus is Love playing on the radio followed by Donnie Simpson’s velvet smooth voice.

From BET’s Video Soul to WPGC 95.5 to Majic 102.3 for the last 40 years, the soul of DC has been Donnie Simpson. In many ways, Simpson is as ingrained into the fabric of Washington as the old velvet paintings of Dr. King and the Last Supper’s our grandmothers had hanging in the living room. For a few hours last Sunday Simpson’s fan, friends, and family came together to celebrate one of Washington D.C.’s icons.

“Just to give you an idea of who Donnie Simpson is, when WUSA 9 first started asking him questions, Simpson stopped and asked for our names before introducing himself. Some 20-minutes later, and he still hadn’t made his way into a Warner Theatre dressing room.

Simpson was too busy saying hello to everyone there!”

— Stephanie Ramirez

Sunday night was the perfect opportunity to laugh, dance and look back.  For just a little while it’s was all about Donnie, the music, and the joy he has brought into our lives.

Donnie Simpson speaks to the crowd at the Warner Theater while celebrating his 40 year career on the radio. Photo credit Majic 102.3

On October 22, 2017, iconic acts from the last 40 years converged on the Warner Theater to celebrate Donnie Simpson’s career. Soulful artists like Eddie LeVert, Chante Moore, Bell Biv DeVoe along with Hip-Hop greats like Big Daddy Kane and Dougie Fresh took to the stage to honor “The Green-Eyed Bandit”.

Fans of all ages lined the and around the block outside the Warner Theater Sunday evening.  The fans were excited about sharing this milestone with the radio icon, and he was just excited to connect with fans, and colleagues. WUSA 9 reporter Stephanie Ramirez give fans a glimpse into the Simpson’s mood during the star-studded affair.

“The spirit that we’re going through right now, it’s a lot of; it seems like a lot of energy is trying to move us backward – it’s not going to happen. Even though you may feel like it is happening right now, it is not happening. We are still moving forward; there’s no question about it.”

— Donnie Simpson

Anyone following the event on Twitter via @DonnieSimpson saw everyone in attendance was having the time of their life. Fans and celebrities alike were laughing, and dancing in the aisles with their favorites all night long.
Check out Majic 102.3’s full gallery of pictures and performances from the celebration here.


Veteran sports and entertainment journalist, Karintha Styles holds court at the intersection of sports and pop culture. Seamlessly she weaves common sense, tough love, and quick wit through her writing and commentary. Currently, she hosts Week N Sports and Styles & Kaikai with Elizabeth Kaikai. You can find the Detroit native’s work on numerous media outlets including Fox Sports, Yahoo Sports, BET, iHeart Media, and Hoops Habit.

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