'Without him, no P Diddy': Music mogul Andre Harrell, founder of Uptown Records, dies age 59

The music executive started one of the world's most influential record companies

MIAMI BEACH, FL - OCTOBER 17:  Puff Daddy (L) and CEO of Motown Records, Andre Harrell onstage at the closing gala of the 2015 Revolt Music Conference at Fontainebleau Miami Beach on October 16, 2015 in Miami Beach, Florida.  (Photo by John Parra/Getty Images for REVOLT Music Conference)
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Andre Harrell, the man who discovered Sean "Puffy" Combs and Mary J Blige, died at the age of 59 in New York on Friday. The cause of death is as yet unclear.

DJ D Nice reportedly revealed the news while on Instagram Live for his Club Quarantine series on Friday night.

Harrell was the founder of Uptown Records, and chief executive and president of Motown Records, but he actually started his career in music as an artist himself. He was one half of the 1980s rap duo Dr Jeckyll and Mr Hyde, and also became a film and TV actor and producer.

Harrell started his own company in 1986, and it went on to become one of the most popular hip-hop and R'n'B labels of the late 1980s and early 1990s. Alongside Combs and Blige, the roster featured names such as Notorious BIG, Soul for Real and Heavy D & The Boyz.

'Gone too soon'

Tributes from friends and fans poured in across social media.

Singer-songwriter Mariah Carey wrote: "My heart is breaking and I can't stop crying. He was an amazing friend and I will miss him forever."

Actress Viola Davis also paid tribute, saying: "Thank you for the gift of so many incredible artists. Gone too soon."

Filmmaker Ava DuVernay said: "Saluting Andre Harrell. The architect of so much music, so much culture. Rest now. In power and peace."

Another user pointed out what a loss it was for the music world: