The news of Andre Harrell’s passing came shockingly, however on par with his celebratory life, during a party. D-Nice shared the unexpected news while hosting his Instagram Live series Club Quarantine. A flood of celebrity tributes started pouring in for Harrell and we’re immediately reminded of the many lives he touched as one of the architects of modern hip hop soul. He was 59.
As founder and president of Uptown Records, his tenure produced albums that became classics: Mary J. Blige’s What’s the 411? and My Life, Jodeci’s Forever My Lady, Guy’s self-titled debut and The Future, Heavy D & the Boyz’s Big Thyme, and many more.
Even long after Uptown closed its doors, Harrell’s extensive reach continued impacting the industry he helped shape as he went on to produce films, run record labels and continue developing artists, such as Robin Thicke. The New York native counted many singers, celebrities, producers and executives as friends, especially Sean “Diddy” Combs, his former intern turned megastar producer. Harrell routinely spent time with Diddy and many A-Listers and artists throughout the years.
Below, a look back at the people Andre Harrell knew and worked with—and the good times they shared.
Andre Harrell with Martin Lawrence and Al B. Sure (1990)Uptown Records executive producer Andre Harrell stands between actor and comedian Martin Lawrence (left) and singer Al B. Sure (right). (Photo by Lynn Goldsmith/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images)
Andre Harrell and Sean “Diddy” Combs (1995)NEW YORK – OCTOBER 5: Andre Harrell (L) and Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs (R) pose for a photo at a party after Lifebeat’s Urban Aid benefit concert at Madison Square Garden on October 5, 1995 in New York City, New York. (Photo by Catherine McGann/Getty Images)
Andre Harrell, Heavy D and Sean “Diddy” Combs (2000)NEW YORK, NY – JANUARY 01:Heavy D, Sean “Puffy” Combs and Andre Harrellattend the “Shaft” premiere on June 12, 2000 in New York City.(Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
Sean “Diddy” Combs, Carl Thomas and Andre Harrell (2000)Sean Puffy Combs, Carl Thomas & Andre Harrell(Photo by J. Vespa/WireImage)
Andre Harrell and Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds (2001)Andre Harrell and Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds during Marc Anthony Pilots Jaguar’s Tribute To Style – March 18, 2001 at Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, California, United States. (Photo by J. Vespa/WireImage)
Andre Harrell and Chris Rock (2002)Andre Harrell and Chris Rock during Andre Harrel/NU America present 2002 American Music Awards After Party at Sunset Room in Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by KMazur/WireImage)
Andre Harrell and Tevin Campbell (2002)NEW YORK CITY – AUGUST 14: Music video director Bille Woodruff and music industry executive Andre Harrell attend the Second Annual Quincy Jones Achievement Award Salute to Mary J. Blige on August 14, 2002 at The Supper Club in New York City. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)
Misa Hylton, Andre Harrell and Damon Dash (2003)Misa Hylton-Brim, Andre Harrell and Damon Dash during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring Collections 2003 – Rosa Cha Show – Front Row at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage)
Jay Z, Naomi Campbell and Andre Harrell (2004)Jay Z, Naomi Campbell and Andre Harrell (Photo by L. Cohen/WireImage)
Andre Harrell, Spike Lee, Fonzworth Bentley and Faune Chambers (2004)(EXCLUSIVE, Premium Rates Apply) Andre Harrell, Spike Lee, Fonzworth Bentley and Faune Chambers (Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage)
Naomi Campbell, Usher, Andre Harrell and Sean “Diddy” Combs (2004)Naomi Campbell, Usher, Andre Harrell and Sean ‘P Diddy’ Combs (Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage)
Rev Run and Andre Harrell (2005)Reverend Run and Andre Harrell during “Art for Life” Gala Honoring Sean “P. Diddy” Combs Hosted by Russell Simmons and Kimora Lee Simmons at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, United States. (Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage)
Andre Harrell, Trey Songz, Tyrese Gibson, Sean Combs, guest and F. Gary Gray (2009)NEW YORK CITY, NY – NOVEMBER 19: (L-R) Andre Harrell, Trey Songz, Tyrese, Sean Combs, guest and guest attend CIROC Vodka Presents SEAN “DIDDY” COMBS Birthday Celebration at THE PLAZA HOTEL on November 19, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by EUGENE MIM/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
Andre Harrell and Mary J. Blige (2010)Andre Harrell and Mary J Blige visit SL on June 17, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Shareif Ziyadat/FilmMagic)
DJ Cassidy, Andre Harrell and Robin Thicke (2012)NEW YORK, NY – MARCH 08:DJ Cassidy, Andre Harrell and Robin Thicke attend Robin Thicke’s birthday party hosted by O’Neal McKnight at Greenhouse on March 8, 2012 in New York City.(Photo by Jerritt Clark/Getty Images)