Andre Harrell, Founder of Uptown Records and lefgendary music executive dies at 59

Written by on May 9, 2020

Where do we start? I mean this season has been brutal. So much death. So many have gone on and now we rise to learn of the passing of Andre Harrell at the age of 59. Mr. Harrell was the founder of one of the most influential urban music labels in recent history, Uptown Records.

This label was responsible for so many of the top stars of the ’90’s.. Yes.. All the records we know.. many who have gone on to be some of the biggest artists in the world. Consider this label list:

  • Al B. Sure! (Uptown/Warner Bros.)
  • Brothers Black
  • Christopher Williams
  • Crystal Johnson
  • Father MC
  • Finesse & Synquis
  • Groove B. Chill (Uptown/A&M Records)
  • Guy
  • Heavy D & The Boyz
  • Horace Brown
  • Jeff Redd
  • Jodeci
  • Key West
  • Little Shawn
  • Lady Kazan
  • Mary J. Blige
  • McGruff
  • Monifah
  • Nesto Valesquez
  • The Notorious B.I.G.
  • Puff Daddy (A&R and intern)
  • Ronnie Henson
  • Soul for Real
  • Lost Boyz
  • The Gyrlz (Uptown/Capitol)

Yes, Andre Harrell discovered Sean “P-Diddy” Combs. It would be Andre who gave a young firebrand from Harlem by way of Howard University an internship at Uptown. But they would not be able to get along and Andre fired Puff…. And Puff went on to found Bad Boy Records and the rest is history.

Andre brought us Mary J. Blige. I remember being at a party given by Uptown at the Jack The Rapper Convention in Atlanta. I ran into a very young Mary J. Blige… she was new.. there was a buzz about her. I remember telling her.. You gonna be a force to be reckoned with.

I have watched Andre Harrell over the years. I admired how he did his business. He gets much respect. And now, may he rest in peace. Well done sir….


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