Several notable names in the entertainment world are grieving the loss of Andre Harrell. DJ D-Nice was the one to break the news while spinning during his popular Instagram Live Club Quarantine series on Friday, May 8. His cause of death has yet to be revealed. “We can confirm the passing of Andre Harrell. Everyone in the REVOLT family is devastated by the loss of our friend, mentor and Vice Chairman. Andre’s impact on Hip Hop, the culture and on all of us personally has been immeasurable and profound. May he Rest In Peace.” Roma Khanna, CEO REVOLT Media & TV,” said in a statement.
Andre posted an inspirational message on his Instagram account that same day that talked about how tough 2020 has been amid the global coronavirus pandemic. “Skip the virus and Let’s Pick it up again at the top of the year,” he wrote as the caption. The comments section of the post have been filled with heartbreaking messages from many celebs including Naomi Campbell and Lee Daniels in the wake of his passing.
Here are five things to know about the man who discovered some of the greatest R&B and hip-hop talents the world has ever seen.
1: The Beginning. He started his career off as an artist in the early 1980’s. Harrell was one-half of rap duo Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde, who had a couple of hits including “Genius Rap” and “Fast Life”.
2: Chance Meeting. Harrell met another legend, Russell Simmons, in 1983 and started working at his label Def Jam Records. He eventually left and created his own label, Uptown Records, which elevated the New Jack Swing style of R&B with acts like Jodeci and Al B. Sure.
3: Humble Beginnings. He has been credited for discovering Sean “Puffy” Combs who at one point was an intern at his label. Harrell also signed Mary J. Blige in the late 80’s before her career took off years later.
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
4: TV & Movie Success. Harrell was also a successful producer in other entertainment mediums. He produced the popular 1990’s television series New York Undercover and the hit Jessica Alba movie Honey.
5: He Was Very Loved. Social media has been overflowing with tributes for Harrell. “Why Andre,” Mariah Carey, 50, tweeted on Saturday, May 9. “My heart is breaking and I can’t stop crying. He was an amazing friend and I will miss him forever.”