The cause of death is undiscovered. Aged 59, Andre Harrell.
Legendary music maven and Uptown Records founder and REVOLT co-founder Andre Harrell is gone. He was 59 years old at the time of his death.
Harrell’s death was first confirmed during his Instagram Friday night sets of “Club Quarantine” by Derrick Jones, a disc jockey known by his stage name, D-Nice.
Roma Khanna, the CEO of REVOLT Television and Media, announced Harrell’s death in a response to News Channel on Saturday afternoon.
“Everybody in the REVOLT family is so sad by the death of our comrad, father, and vice president. Andre ‘s influence on hip hop, music, and all of us individually has been unmeasurable and profound.
The cause of death at Harrell has still not been verified.
One of the last Instagram stories from Harrell on May 7 was a picture and caption of Ahmaud Arbery — an African American man shot dead by two white men who believed he was a victim in a robbery — and finished with “#justiceforahmaud.”
His friend Gianni Harrell also shared a selfie on May 3 with the description “I love Saturday’s @Gianni Father & Brother.”
Born in New York city and raised in the small town named Bronx, Harrell’s music career began as one-half of the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde hip-hop collective in the early 1980s. As Dr Jekyll, Harrell and Mr. Hyde’s Alonzo Brown were recruited to Profile Records where they recorded an album entitled “The Champagne of Rap” in 1985.
Once Russell Simmons recruited him at Def Jam Records, Harrell went away from standing in front of the camera and into the background. When there, Harrell made his way rising to the label’s vice president and then for the general manager but left to start his own label himself — Uptown Records in 1986.
Uptown Records also signed classic R&B and hip-hop stars such as Al B. Sure, the Man collective with producer Teddy Riley and the late Heavy D & The Boyz.
Harrell recruited Sean Combs, now recognized as “Diddy” as intern, as the label’s boss. Combs moved up to become such a talent manager for the label that, according to Billboard, established the careers of Mary J. Blige and Jodeci till Harrell fired him in 1993. Combs followed by founding Bad Boy Books.
Two decades later, Harrell and Combs joined forces to launch REVOLT TV, a multi-platform brand which hosts music gatherings.
Black Entertainment Television revealed in December that it was partnering with Harrell to carry the tale of Uptown Records to life as a miniseries planned for three nights in 2020, according to Billboard.
Posts of support and condolences from stars like Simmons have flooded in on social media.