Music executive Andre Harrell has tragically died at the age of 59.
Andre’s cause of death currently remains unknown but sources confirmed to Variety on Friday that he had passed away.
DJ D-Nice confirmed the news during an Instagram live session on Friday night, and countless celebrities have paid tribute to the producer in the wake of his passing.
Rest in peace: Andre Harrell known for signing Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs and Mary J. Blige has passed away aged 59, it was revealed on Friday
One day before his passing, Andre took to Instagram to share a poignant message amid the coronavirus crisis as he wrote: ‘Whoever need a ride to 2021… we leaving tomorrow morning.’
In the caption, he went on to say: ‘Skip the virus and Let’s Pick it up again at the top of the year.’
Known for signing rapper Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs to his label Uptown Records, Andre first made his name as part of the Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde rap duo.
He began working in the business side of the music industry in 1983, when he first teamed with Russell Simmons in his company Def Jam Records, before going on to act as vice president and general manager within two years.
Tragic loss: Andre’s cause of death currently remains unknown but sources confirmed to Variety on Friday that he had passed away
Final message: One day before his passing, Andre took to Instagram to share a message of hope as he wrote: ‘Whoever need a ride to 2021… we leaving tomorrow morning’
Then in 1986 Andre left to start his own company, Uptown Records, which played a key role in the R&B music scene.
Andre signed on Mary J. Blige when she was a teenager, making her the youngest and first solo female artist within the label.
He also discovered Sean Combs, aka P. Diddy, who went on to become one of the most influential figures in the music industry.
Andre is survived by partner Wendy Credle, a music attorney, and their son Gianni Credle-Harrell.
Iconic: Known for signing rapper Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs (pictured in 1995) to his label Uptown Records, Andre also signed Mary J. Blige as a teenager
After hearing the news, DJ D-Nice shared a snap with him and in his tribute wrote: ‘Truly heartbroken. Rest peacefully, Andre Harrell.’
Mariah Carey took to Twitter to mourn his loss, and said: ‘Why Andre… My heart is breaking and I can’t stop crying. He was an amazing friend and I will miss him forever.’
Viola Davis also paid tribute to Andre on social media, and said: ‘RIP Andre Harrell…thank you for the gift of so many incredible artists. Gone too soon.’
Adding to the celebrity tributes, Ashton Kutcher added: ‘Andre Harrell, wishing safe travels to your beautiful soul.’
Tribute: After hearing the news, DJ D-Nice shared a snap with him and in his tribute wrote: ‘Truly heartbroken. Rest peacefully, Andre Harrell’
Mourning his loss: A slew of celebrities including Mariah Carey and Viola Davis paid tribute to the legendary music producer
LA Reid wrote on Instagram: ‘I am deeply saddend by the loss of my good friend @andreharrell – Andre has been a blessing to so many, including myself. It is with a heavy heart that I post this photo of us a few years ago. A truly gifted and brilliant impressario of the highest calibre. Andre, you will be missed. Love and blessings to Gianni and your family.’
Filmmaker Ava DuVernay tweeted: ‘Saluting Andre Harrell. The architect of so much music, so much culture.’
In December, it was revealed that Andre had signed up to work with BET to bring the Uptown Records story to life as a scripted miniseries.
He said: ‘I am thrilled to partner with BET Networks and Jesse Collins Entertainment to share my story, the rise of Uptown Records and successful black entrepreneurship, and the management and cultivation of some of the most iconic artists to come out of the late ’80s and ’90s hip-hop, R&B and soul music era.’
His story: In December, it was revealed that Andre had signed up to work with BET to bring the Uptown Records story to life as a scripted miniseries, it is unclear whether this will go ahead