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Andre Harrell, Hip-Hop Legend & Founder Of Uptown Records, Has Died

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In tragic news, hip-hop legend and Uptown Records founder Andre Harrell, has died.  Details surrounding his shocking death, inside.

The news this morning has been somber and tragic.  At 59, Andre Harrell, who is credited with turning Sean "Diddy" Combs into a music mogul, has passed away.

According to his longtime friend Danny Simmons (brother of Russell Simmons), Andre died from complications from Covid-19.  This has not yet been confirmed by family or official representatives and there are other potential but unconfirmed causes of death being circulated. His ex-wife and entertainment lawyer, Wendy Credle, reportedly has stated heart failure was the cause.

Andre had become synonymous with the business of hip hop.  After leaving college to embark on a radio career, he developed further ambitions. He founded Uptown Records in the 80's after serving as a long-time VP at Def Jam as Russell Simmons' partner, and also became the CEO & President of Motown Records in 1995. Uptown Records is where Andre discovered a fresh out of Howard University Sean Combs, who spread his wings there to become Puffy, and who went on to become the mogul we know today.

Andre was always a steady presence next to other legends in this business, especially Diddy.  He served as a coach and mentor during "Making The Band" and had a hand in choosing the artists who soon would make up Danity Kane & Day 26.

In 2014, Diddy tapped his mentor to become Vice Chair of his newly launched network, Revolt TV.  Andre was instrumental in forming the Revolt Music Conference in Miami, still one of the "must attend" conferences to this day.  He spoke on several panels just this past September:

The Harlem born and Bronx raised rapper (as one half of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde) turned mogul has had his hand in starting and catapulting the careers of endless big names in this industry - from Diddy to Mary J. Blige to Teddy Riley to Heavy D to Soul 4 Real to many more.

A movie about Uptown Records has also been in the works. Casting began this past December and Andre said it would be a three night series.

Andre often posted on his Instagram account messages encouraging people to take Covid-19 seriously, and reposted a meme just two days ago about the hardships 2020 has brought.

 

 

Danny Simmons remembered his good friend by speaking on their friendship and sharing a pic of the two joining Russell in Bali this past Thanksgiving:

I've known Andre Harrell from the Jump..the very first appearance of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde at a small club in Jamaica...

Posted by Danny Simmons on Friday, May 8, 2020

Im so mad right now at all those deniers that push the idea that Covid 19 is fake and those that are shouting to high...

Posted by Danny Simmons on Saturday, May 9, 2020

Thanksgiving in Bali w Russ and Andre Rip Dre My man

Posted by Danny Simmons on Saturday, May 9, 2020

 

DJ D-Nice also revealed the news in the wee hours of this morning during his IG Live set: 

 

This is an unreal, extremely difficult and horrible time for so many. Our thoughts, prayers and hearts are with all of Andre's friends, family, his son Gianni, and loved ones.

 

Photos: Getty

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