Music Executive Andre Harrell, Founder Of Uptown Records, Dies At 59 – Andre Harrell, a legendary music executive best known as the founder of influential R&B and hip-hop label Uptown Records, has died.
Music Executive Andre Harrell, Founder Of Uptown Records, Dies At 59 | Andre Harrell Cause Of Death:
On Friday night, DJ D Nice broke the news during his popular Instagram Live party, Club Quarantine, that veteran music executive Andre Harrell had died. He was 59.
Andre Harrell cause of death is as yet unclear but the day before his death Andre Harrell posted — “Whoever need a ride to 2021 … we leave tomorrow morning,” and “Skip the virus and Let’s Pick it up again at the top of the year.”
Andre Harrell, who was born on September 26, 1960 in Harlem, New York City, began his music career as one half of Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde, a rap duo that scored a minor hit in 1981 with “Genius Rap,” a song that sampled the Tom Tom Club’s song, “Genius of Love.”
In 1983, Harrell met Def Jam records founder Russell Simmons. He went to work for Def Jam and had one of his early experiences in the business working as a vice president and later GM of the label.
After a few years working at Def Jam, Harrell left and founded his own label of Uptown Records.
The stylish, sophisticated and fashion-forward label quickly rose to preeminence in late-’80s hip-hop and R&B with early hits from rap group Heavy D & The Boyz, R&B singer Al B. Sure.
In 1988, Mary J. Blige recorded an impromptu cover of Anita Baker’s “Caught Up in the Rapture” at a recording booth in a local mall.
Andre Harrell Discovered Sean ‘Puffy’ Combs | Andre Harrell And Diddy:
Andre Harrell discovered Sean “Puffy” Combs, later known as Diddy, who was an intern at the record label. Combs eventually worked full time for Harrell as a talent director, where he helped develop ’90s R&B megastars like Mary J. Blige and Jodeci, even producing the popular “Hip-Hop Remix” of the latter’s 1992 hit “Come and Talk to Me.”
In 1995, Harrell went on to run Motown Records as president and CEO.
Harrell and Combs remained friends longtime friends and business associates, leading to Harrell accepting a position as Vice Chairman of Revolt, Diddy’s multi-platform music network.
Andre Harrell was instrumental in launching the Revolt Music Conference in Miami, Florida, at the Fountainbleau Hotel on October 17, 2014, entertainment figures as Guy Oseary, Russell Simmons, and L.A. Reid.
Harrell also appeared in Diddy’s 2017 documentary “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: A Bad Boy Story.”
Harrell had a son Gianni Credle-Harrell with Wendy Credle, a music attorney.
At the time of his death, Andre Harrell was working on a TV miniseries about Uptown.