The world continues to mourn the tragic death of Uptown Records founder Andre Harrell, the illustrious music executive who impacted countless careers. Harrell died suddenly on May 9 at the age of 59.
Though no official cause has been released, Harrell’s ex-wife, entertainment lawyer Wendy Credle told the New York Times he’d had heart problems for some time.
Sean “Diddy” Combs got his start when Harrell hired him as an intern at Uptown Records in 1990 and later promoted him to an A&R executive.
Diddy shared his heartbreak over the loss of his mentor since news of his death broke and he posted another emotional tribute on Friday night.
“I MISS YOU. HE WAS SO KIND. SO BEAUTIFUL. SO PATIENT. SO BLACK. SO CARING. SO SHARING. SO WISE. THE LIFE OF THE PARTY. A MUSICAL GENIUS! MY HERO. !LOVE FOREVER,” Diddy wrote alongside a photo of them embracing.
Several musicians lent their talents to a tribute to Harrell in a live stream on Sunday. Uptown artists Aaron Hall, Monifah, Soul For Real, and Father MC all participated in the event to honor the man who helped them rise to fame.
Harrell’s death was first confirmed early Saturday by DJ D-Nice while spinning during his Club Quarantine series on Instagram Live.
“Truly heartbroken. Rest peacefully, Andre Harrell,” D-Nice later captioned in a post.
Before founding Uptown Records, the Bronx, New York native worked with Russell Simmons at Def Jam Records. Harrell was eventually promoted to vice-president and general manager but decided to part ways with Def Jam to launch a record label of his own.
The iconic artists who got their start at Uptown Records include bad boy R&B band Jodeci, Notorious B.I.G. and Mary J. Blige, who became the label’s first female artist. Harrell would later fire Combs, who went on to found Bad Boy Records — taking Biggie with him.
Harrell is survived by his father, his son Gianni Credle Harrell and his brother, Greg.
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