Rest in paradise, Andre Harrell. On Friday (May 8), it was confirmed that the music executive passed away at 59 years old. Following the news, several celebrities shared heartfelt tributes to social media.
Back in 1983, Harrell was hired by Def Jam Records. While there, he worked as vice president and later general manager of the label founded by Russell Simmons.
Three years following his time at Def Jam, Harrell founded his own label, Uptown Records, where he hired Sean “Diddy” Combs as an intern. Years later, Diddy would continue working with Harrell, who served as the vice chairman at REVOLT Media & TV.
In a post to Instagram, Simmons opened up about his bond with Harrell. He also revealed that the his friend served as the best man at his wedding. “@andreharrell was the best man at my wedding and the go-to guy when things were less festive. In fact, when I was at my all time low he was there supportive and steady. Those real friendships can never be replaced. Let me offer you my prayer of comfort. We are the collective energy /consciousness or we are part of the ONE living breathing God. We are separated from this enlightened self when we are put into a shell. The yogis know, ‘He is not the body or the mind although she has a body and a mind,’” Simmons wrote.
John Legend spoke about Harrell’s great influence on music. “RIP Andre Harrell. Whether we knew it or not, he had such a huge influence on the R&B/hip-hop my generation grew up loving. He signed and mentored so many great artists, made so much great music happen, helped shape the culture,” he explained.
Mariah Carey added, “Why Andre? My heart is breaking and I can’t stop crying. He was an amazing friend and I will miss him forever.”
This weekend marked a sad couple of days for music. Check out more heartfelt messages from celebrities below. R.I.P, Andre Harrell.