Andre Harrell was found dead at his apartment Friday evening at age 59, according to a tweet from journalist Roland Martin. His cause of death is unknown at this time.
Harrell, who founded Uptown Records, was responsible for launching the careers of Mary J. Blige, Robin Thicke, Heavy D, Jodeci, Anthony Hamilton, Teddy Riley and more. In 1995, he became the president and CEO of Motown Records, overseeing Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross and Queen Latifah, all the while launching the careers of 98 Degrees and Mario Winans. As a mentor to Diddy, he later went on to work side-by-side with the rap mogul as president of Bad Boy Records and later, vice chairman of Revolt TV & Media.
Outside of his music endeavors, Harrell dabbled in film, producing Honey, which starred Jessica Alba, Strictly Business starring Tommy Davidson and Halle Berry, and created the first multicultural major network drama to hit TV: New York Undercover.
Andre Harrell Dead At 59 Years Old
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BREAKING NEWS: More confirmations are coming in to me via text that @iamAndreHarrell was found dead in his Los Angeles apartment tonight. The legendary music exec was 59. @BET was slated to air a 3-part miniseries on him later this year called “Uptown.” #RolandMartinUnfiltered— rolandsmartin (@rolandsmartin) May 9, 2020
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Why Andre 😢😢😢 My heart is breaking and I can't stop crying. He was an amazing friend and I will miss him forever. 😢— Mariah Carey (@MariahCarey) May 9, 2020
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#AndreHarrell 59 years old, one of the cornerstones of HIP-HOP, from being an artist as #DrJekkylAndMrHyde to Def Jam to Uptown Records where he literally birthed GHETTO FABULOUS, HipHop Soul, MJB & unleashed Puff into the world, this is my era, I’m not ok with this! R.I.P. Icon— bevysmith (@bevysmith) May 9, 2020
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RIP Andre Harrell...thank you for the gift of so many incredible artists. Gone too soon.❤ pic.twitter.com/DRcxWJFFIy— Viola Davis (@violadavis) May 9, 2020
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Ohhh noooo!— Holly Robinson Peete 💃🏾♍️ (@hollyrpeete) May 9, 2020
So sorry to hear this news.
André Harrell was a longtime friend and music legend responsible for artists like:
Mary J Blige
Al B Sure
Soul For Real
Rest In Peace.
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It’s hard to describe how big an imprint Andre Harrell had on music. From his own rap career to his days at Def Jam to Uptown to Motown to Revolt... From Mary J. Blige to Diddy to Heavy D to Jodeci... Andre Harrell was a pioneer and a legend.— Marc Lamont Hill (@marclamonthill) May 9, 2020
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