R.I.P. Andre Harrell


Music executive and Uptown Records founder Andre Harrell has died at age 59. DJ D-Nice announced the news to his followers on Instagram Live. Harrell started out in the music industry as one-half of the rap duo Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde. They had three hit songs before disbanding and Harrell met Russell Simmons and worked as the vice-president and general manager of Def Jam Records. In 1986 he founded Uptown Records and set about creating one of the most important hip-hop and R&B labels of the ’80s and ’90s. Heavy D & The Boyz, Guy, Al B. Sure, Christopher Williams, Father MC, Jodeci, Monifah, Mary J. Blige, The Notorious B.I.G., Soul For Real and Lost Boyz were all Uptown artists. Sean “Diddy” Combs got his start in the music industry as an intern at Uptown and later became an A&R representative before he was famously fired which spurred the creation Bad Boy Records. Harrell produced the film Strictly Business and was one of the forces behind the TV show New York Undercover. By 1995 Harrell left Uptown to be the CEO of Motown Records. He maintained a relationship with Combs and worked as the vice-chairman of Combs’s cable music network Revolt, and co-founded the Revolt Music Conference. BET announced in 2019 an upcoming miniseries about Uptown Records. 

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