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Legendary Music Executive Andre Harrell Dies at 59

Andre Harrell, the music executive who founded Uptown Records, served as the president/CEO of Motown Records, and launched the careers of music giants such as Mary J. Blige, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Heavy D., and more passed away at 59 years old at his home in West Hollywood, California.

Andre O’Neal Harrell was born in the Bronx on September 26, 1960. Harrell’s musical career actually started when he became Dr. Jeckyll, half of the rap duo Dr. Jeckyll & Mr. Hyde, with his high school friend Alonzo Brown.

Harrell eventually went on to work for Rush Management, which was led by Russell Simmons. Harrell’s work paid off, as he eventually became ice president and general manager of the company.

In 1986, he founded Uptown Records, which had a roster of legendary artists, such as Jodeci, Mary J. Blige, Heavy D, and Marley Marl. During the reign of Uptown Records, Harrell brought in an intern by the same of Sean Combs, who would go on to create Bad Boy Records, which housed artists like The Notorious B.I.G., Lil’ Kim, Faith Evans, and more.

He also became a film and TV producer in the 1990s, producing Strictly Business, Honey, and New York Undercover.

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