Legendary Music Executive Andre Harrell, Dies at 59+Family, Friends, and Peers Mourn on Instagram

Posted May 9, 2020

Andre Harrell, the man who is responsible for finding and signing a young Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs, and bringing musical acts such as Jodeci, Heavy D, Mary J. Blige, and more to the world, has passed away at the age of 59.

via Variety:

DJ D Nice revealed the sad news while spinning on Instagram Live for his popular Club Quarantine series. Variety has yet to receive official word though sources have confirmed Harrell’s passing.

A native of New York, Harrell started his career in music as an artist, one-half of the rap duo Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde. In 1983 Harrell teamed with Russell Simmons, the founder of Def Jam Records, and had one of his early experiences in the business working as a vice president and later GM of the label. He left to start his own record company, Uptown Records, where he signed Sean “Puffy” Combs. He later brought Mary J. Blige onto the roster and saw success with both artists in the late 1980s and into the 1990s.

Harrell would later find a home at MCA productions where he developed multiple projects in film and television in the 1990s and returned to the music business full-time in 1995 to run Motown Records as CEO. Through that era, the label was home such acts as Boyz II Men, Jodeci and Al B. Sure.

Harrell and Combs remained longtime friends and business associates and Harrell served as vice chairman of Revolt, Combs’ multi-platform music network, and a producer on its panel show “State of the Culture.”

A pioneer of hip-hop and R&B and black entertainment in general, serving as executive producer of Harrell could be seen at many red carpet events on both coasts. He appears in Diddy’s 2017 documentary “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: A Bad Boy Story” and, according to IMDB, had been working on a TV miniseries about Uptown that was in the treatment phase at BET.

The news of Andre’s passing was also confirmed by several of his close friends and industry peers who took to social media early Saturday to mourn his loss.

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Another sad day😔🙏🏽 We’ve lost one of the greatest mentors in my life. I’m so happy I got to tell you 1 hour before the versus Battle, how much I respect and love you, as my big brother and mentor! The pep talk that you’ve giving me right before, felt like the same pep talks that you’ve given me the beginning of Uptown records, sleeping on the couch at your office (Brownstone) in BK. You chose me out of all the kids that you could have picked to work with you. I can replay IT in my head, all of the moments that I’ve taken the train and when I got my first car driving to Brooklyn, skipping school, and becoming that sponge just to learn and get my hands on that mixing board at Chung King Studios. I will never forget, all of these cherished moments and I will never forget you!!! 🙏🏽 🙏🏽 🙏🏽 I salute you…King of New Jack Swing👑👑👑 My condolences to the Harrell family & to my Uptown family 4life!!! #rip #greatest #legend #legacy #newjackswing #king

A post shared by Teddy Riley (@teddyriley1) on

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One of our elders. One of our pioneers. One of one. Rest in paradise @andreharrell 🙏🏾

A post shared by Tank (@therealtank) on

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My prayers go out to all the family. GOD BLESS 💔You were the beginning for so many and a genuine positive energy through it all … I salute you KING!!🕊🕊🕊🕊

A post shared by Usher (@usher) on


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Speechless. 2020 ain’t it. RIP The Legendary Andre Harrell #andreharrell 🙏🏿

A post shared by lancegross (@lancegross) on

His ex-wife, Wendy Credle, said that the cause was heart failure and that Mr. Harrell had had heart problems for some time according to The New York Times.

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Skip the virus and Let’s Pick it up again at the top of the year

A post shared by @ andreharrell on

Our condolences to Andre, his family, and friends.

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