Mariah Carey and Mary J. Blige were among many celebrities who attended the funeral of record executive Andre Harrell, who was laid to rest in New Jersey on Saturday, May 23.
The 59-year-old Uptown Records founder died earlier this month from complications arising from heart disease.
A service to celebrate the life of a man described entertainment legend, music pioneer and architect of black media was held at Vander Plaat-Caggiano Funeral Home in Fair Lawn, New Jersey. His remains were laid to rest at the nearby George Washington cemetery.
Carey and Blige were joined by other celebrities paying their respects
Local media reports that along with Mariah Carey and Mary J. Blige, mourners were also joined by other famous faces, including Chris Rock, model Naomi Campbell and executives L.A. Reid and Lyor Cohen.
The service included a number of musical performances, notably from Jodeci and gospel singers BeBe and CeCe Winans. Blige, Rock, and Cohen all spoke during the funeral, along with Harrell’s son Gianni Credle-Harrell.
Many at the funeral spoke of Harrell’s big personality, Carey called him “fun personified” and Naomi Campbell spoke of Harrell’s “big heart and smile.”
Andre Harrell was responsible for some of the biggest names in Hip-hop
The legendary Harrell was born in Harlem and raised in the Bronx, New York. He was best known for creating Uptown Records, which reached the heights of fame as one of the most popular hip-hop and R&B labels during the 1990s.
The label had responsibility for Guy, Heavy D and the Boyz, and Notorious BIG. Harrell is also attributed to playing a pivotal role in launching the careers of P. Diddy, Blige, Teddy Riley, and Jodeci.
And when Uptown Records signed producer Teddy Riley of Guy and Blackstreet fame, it led the way in the sub-genre of New Jack Swing.
The music world has had a rough few months and was recently rocked by the death of Little Richard, who died at 87 after a battle with cancer. Richard had previously suffered a heart attack and a stroke back in 2013.
The legendary Bill Withers also passed away after suffering a cardiac arrest at the end of March. The Lean On Me singer was 81.
One of America’s greatest songwriters in John Prine also passed away last month after encountering complications developed during a COVID-19 diagnosis.