Sad news for the fans of Andre Harrell! The 59-year-old R&B and hip-hop sensation, as well as the founder of Uptown Records, died on May 8th. Moreover, the cause is said to be a cardiac episode.
Roma Khanna, the CEO of REVOLT Media & TV (where Harrell was vice-chairman), confirmed her colleague’s death. “Everyone in the REVOLT family is devastated by the loss of our friend, mentor, and Vice-Chairman. Andre’s impact on Hip Hop and the culture and on us has been immeasurable and profound. May he Rest In Peace.”, was Roma’s statement.
In his lifetime, Harrell revolutionized the music industry and his impact on it is now celebrated by his fans through a series of heartbreaking tweets.
“My goal is to bring real black America – just as it is, not watered down – to people everywhere through music, through films, through everything we do.”, was one of Harrell’s statement when he was 32-years-old, in a discussion about his $50M multi-media deal with MCA Records.
He was not only appreciated for his contributions to the music industry. Furthermore, people expressed their gratitude for advice, knowledge, resources, and career guidance through their posts on social media.
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Harrell was a true visionary and that can be easily observed in the way he combined his clear vision to create the smooth & party-friendly fusion of R&B and hip-hop. Therefore, down-to-earth and passionate about his music, in 1993, young Andre Harrell gave an interview for Vanity Fair, saying: “I’m an inner-city kid who knows the reality of being poor. I’m looking for escapism. Fun music. Good-time music.”.
He was passionate about people too, he knew what his artists needed and had a clear understanding of who they were. As an example, when Mary J. Blige was facing some issues, he explained she was still dealing with her past-trauma. “She lacks the self-confidence of someone of her stature because she grew up with someone telling her, ‘You ain’t nothing, and you’re never going to be anything.’ In the end, she turned out to be…something very special. But… she doesn’t know it yet.”.
During his career, not only he managed to fulfill his life-long dream, but he helped others do the same. May he rest in peace!