• Ed Gaines

Mariah Carey, Chris Rock and More Set to Honor Late Music Exec Andre Harrell in BET Tribute

BET will air a tribute to Andre Harrell, the influential music executive who discovered Sean “Diddy” Combs and died earlier this month at age 59.


The memorial broadcast is set to air Sunday.  It is dubbed "Mr. Champagne and Bubbles" — a nickname of Harrell’s — and will feature tributes fromChris Rock, Mariah Carey, Jamie Foxx, Babyface, Naomi Campbell, Lee Daniels, Clarence Avant, Russell Simmons, Kimora Lee Simmons, Robin Thickeand more. It will air commercial-free on BET, BET Jams, BET Soul and REVOLT TV, where Harrell was vice chairman.


Harrell founded Uptown Records and shaped the sound of hip-hop and R&B during the late 1980s and ’90s with such acts 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.


During 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 Bullsh*t," which was featured on a film soundtrack.


Diddy often credits Harrell with giving him the tools to find success in music and life, even saying Harrell was like a father figure to him. In 1993, Harrell let go of Diddy, who then launched his uber-successful Bad Boy Records.


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