Russell Simmons' Def Poetry Snags Tony

Russell Simmons snagged a Tony for his groundbreaking

Broadway poetry series, "Def Poetry Jam" last night at the 57th annual

Tony Awards at New York's Radio City Music Hall.

Def Poetry took home the award for Special Theatrical


"When artists write spoken word or write

to silence criticism and injustice, the results are always good," Simmons

told "Us being on Broadway and this award shows the power

that hip-hop has."

Def Poetry was among the evenings winners, which

included "Hairspray," which took home 8 awards, "Nine,"

"Long Day's Journey Into The Night" and others.

"Poetry has become a premier form of expression.

To have it recognized by them is a major accomplishment," Simmons continued.

When Simmons excepted the award, he thanked all

of those that embraced the series with open minds.

"I remember all the millions and millions

of records we sold before the Grammys even knew we existed, and we came here

and you all promoted us and gave us the best resources and support we could

have hoped for -- so thank you all so much."