Veteran Music Executive Andre Harrell Passes Away

Betty Wright performs on stage at The 12th Annual Jazz In The Gardens Music Festival

Betty Wright performs on stage at The 12th Annual Jazz In The Gardens Music Festival

Harrell was born in Harlem and raised in The Bronx, New York. Harrell was one-half of rap duo Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde, who had a couple of hits including "Genius Rap" and "Fast Life". Andre and Russell Simmons worked together and Andre ultimately became a veep for Def Jam Records.

"This is to my brother, Andre Harrell, started Uptown Records, passed away today", D-Nice said on IG Live, which was captured and shared by a Twitter user. It was at this time that Harrell discovered Sean "Diddy" Combs and hired him as an intern.

While a third person added: "Without Andre Harrell, you get no P.Diddy, no Mary J, no Guy, no Heavy D, no Biggie, no Soul 4 Real.none of that". His label, Uptown Records, is remembered as one of the R&B giants of the 1990s, finding a niche as a home for artists who were sophisticated and smooth, yet retaining its street edge.

Andre became the president and CEO of Motown Records in 1995 and was now serving as Vice Chairman of REVOLT TV & Media.

Combs, now known as Diddy, launched the careers of 90s R&B megastars Mary J Blige and Jodeci on his own Bad Boy label with his friend Christopher Wallace, aka The Notorious BIG, who with his wife Faith Evans also achieved stardom. Most recently, Harrell held the position of vice chairman of Revolt, Diddy's successful multimedia music company that includes a TV station. Harrell went on to create the Revolt Music Conference in 2014 which later became the Revolt Hip-Hop Summit.

Why Andre My heart is breaking and I can't stop crying.

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DJ Trevor Nelson said: "My love for 90s R&B is largely down to one music exec and label".

Andre is survived by partner Wendy Credle, a music attorney, and their son Gianni Credle-Harrell. I remember going to his Uptown offices in NY just to smell the air. Variety has yet to receive official word though sources have confirmed Harrell's passing. "Rest now. In power and peace".

Actress Viola Davis also paid tribute, saying: "Thank you for the gift of so many incredible artists".

Ashton Kutcher said: "Andre Harrell, wishing safe travels to your handsome soul".

Reginald Hudlin tweeted: "Andre Harrell was a friend, a mentor, and an innovator".

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