Uptown Records founder Andre Harrell has died aged 59

Tributes are being paid by Mariah Carey, Usher and more

Uptown Records founder Andre Harrell has died aged 59.

The label executive was most famous for discovering P Diddy shortly after he set up Uptown in the 1980s.

The news of Harrell’s passing was announced by DJ D Nice during an Instagram Live stream for his Club Quarantine series, and sources have confirmed the news to Variety. Harrell’s cause of death has not yet been revealed.

As well as starting Uptown, Harrell also had stints at Def Jam and Motown after starting his career as one half of rap duo Dr Jeckyll and Mr Hyde.

Mariah Carey has led the tributes to Harrell on social media, writing: “Why Andre. My heart is breaking and I can’t stop crying. He was an amazing friend and I will miss him forever.”

Other tributes have also come in, including from Viola Davis, who wrote: “RIP Andre Harrell…thank you for the gift of so many incredible artists. Gone too soon.”

Usher added: “My prayers go out to all the family. GOD BLESS.

“You were the beginning for so many and a genuine positive energy through it all … I salute you KING!!”

“My love for 90s R&B is largely down to one music exec and label,” Trevor Nelson added, calling Harrell “a visionary”.

“I remember going to his Uptown offices in New York just to smell the air. I was more excited to meet him than any artist Iโ€™d interviewed. R.i.p.”