What We Know:
- The memorial broadcast dubbed “Mr. Champagne and Bubbles” – a nickname of Harrell’s – will feature tributes from Chris Rock, Mariah Carey, Jamie Foxx, Babyface, Naomi Campbell, Lee Daniels, Clarence Avant, Russell Simmons, Kimora Lee Simmons, Robin Thicke and more. It will air commercial free on BET, BET Jams, BET Soul and REVOLT TV, where Harrell served as vice chairman.
- Harrell, who died at 59, founded Uptown Records and shaped the sound of hip-hop and R&B in the late 1980s and ‘90s with acts such as Mary J. Blige, Heavy D & the Boyz, Al B. Sure and Guy, the R&B trio that also included megaproducer Teddy Riley, the leader of the New Jack swing movement.
- In the early ‘90s, Diddy began interning for Uptown and quickly rose up the ranks after finding success with just-signed acts including R&B group Jodeci and Blige, who was dubbed the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul with the release of her 1992 debut, What’s the 411? Uptown also released Notorious B.I.G.’s first single, 1993’s Party and Bull—-, which was featured on a film soundtrack.
- Diddy posted multiple tributes to Harrell on social media following his death.
- BET has announced that they have decided to move forward with the miniseries that will highlight Harrell’s time at Uptown Records. BET president Scott Mills spoke on the miniseries and Andre Harrell’s passing in an official statement. Mills said: “We are mourning the loss of a cultural icon, Andre Harrell, a chief architect of the modern hip hop and R&B sound.”
Sending continued prayers for Andre Harrell’s family and loved ones.