Gone But Not Forgotten: Andre Harrell (September 26, 1960 – May 7, 2020)
Andre Harrell was a multimedia producer and record executive who formed Uptown Records in 1986. Born in the Bronx, New York, Harrell started a rap duo as a teenager, called Dr. Jeckyll & Mr. Hyde with Alonzo Brown. Harrell studied at Baruch College and Lehman College but dropped out before graduating to work at a radio station. In 1983 Andre Harrell met Russell Simmons, and he went to work at Def Jam Records.
Over the years Andre Harrell had discovered and signed many notable artists including Sean "Puffy" Combs, Mary J. Blige, Jodeci and many of the artists who made up the foundation of the New Jack Swing sound, like Al B. Sure!, Guy, and Heavy D.
In 1988, MCA offered Harrell a deal to get involved with music, film and multimedia, where he worked on the movie Strictly Business (with Halle Berry, Samuel L. Jackson and and the tv series, New York Undercover. Harrell became the CEO at Motown in 1995 until 1997, and later founded the ad agency, Nu America.