Andre Harrell, music director who supervised P. Diddy and discovered other major artists, dies at 59


“We can confirm the death of André Harrell,” Khanna said in a statement. “Everyone in the REVOLT family is devastated by the loss of our friend, mentor and vice president. André’s impact on Hip Hop, culture and all of us personally was immeasurable and profound. May he rest in peace. “

Harrell is known for his eternal imprint in the hip hop and entertainment industry. According to the Combs Enterprises website, he is recognized as the mentor of Combs as well as for discovering and launching the careers of various artists and artists.

“Known for having the midas touch when it comes to discovering and developing talent, Andre was responsible for transforming the sound of R&B music and crossing artists and executives into what was then known as of “pop culture”, “said the website.

Harrell got his start in a rap group

Andre Harrell (left) was a longtime friend of Sean & # 39; Diddy & # 39; Combs.

Harrell was one of two rap group members Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde in the early 1980s with Alonzo Brown, according to Combs Enterprises.

In 1983, Def Jam Records hired Harrell where he worked as vice president, then became general manager of the label, according to Revolt TV. Russell Simmons, who founded Def Jam, said in an Instagram post that Harrell was his best friend who was “always compassionate, kind-hearted and full of love.”

“Many may say they are successful because Andre Harrell gave them their start. He was loved so much because he made a living out of exalting others, “reads Simmons’ post.

After Def Jam, Harrell founded Uptown Records. It was there that he hired Diddy as an intern and launched the careers of Mary J. Blige, Heavy D and The Boyz, Jodeci and Teddy Riley, according to Revolt and Comb Enterprises.

As president of the record company, he also created and produced the crime drama “New York Undercover” and was producer of the film “Strictly Business”, according to Comb Enterprises.

Harrell became president and chief executive officer of Motown Records in 1995, where he launched the 98-degree careers and Mario Winans, said the Combs website. He then founded Nu America Records where he launched the career of Robin Thicke.

Celebrities Respond To Harrell’s Death

The news of Harrell’s death hit the hip-hop community hard on Saturday.

“I have just woken up with the terrible news that my friend Andre Harrell has passed away. Andre was actually the person who drew me to New York Undercover who started my relationship with Dick Wolf .. My sincere condolences to his family. RIP my friend. Smh, “said rapper and actor Ice T on Twitter.

Singer Mariah Carey tweeted that she couldn’t stop crying.

“Why Andre … My heart is breaking and I can’t stop crying. He was an amazing friend and I will miss him forever, “read his tweet.

Rapper and actor Ice Cube in the same way actress Viola Davis thanked Harrell for his contribution to the industry.

“Thank you for the gift of so many amazing artists,” tweeted Davis. ” Left too early. “

CNN’s Chuck Johnston contributed to this report.


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