Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43) issued a statement on the death of music industry executive and icon, Andre Harrell:
“I’m in a state of shock over the death of Andre Harrell. Andre and I were just on the phone a few days ago discussing he an P. Diddy’s ‘Vote or Die’ initiative, which they were planning to relaunch in order to galvanize young people and African Americans in the upcoming presidential election. While ‘Vote or Die’ is not a new program, Andre asked me to evaluate their 2020 proposal. He and I spoke for over an hour and discussed our observations about current events and the stakes for people of color and vulnerable communities in 2020. He was passionate, upbeat, and focused on doing everything in his power to ensure that the African American community’s voice and power were realized in the upcoming election.
“Those of us who knew Andre Harrell understand that this is exactly who he was and what he stood for. He was a brilliant and highly respected visionary, whose leadership and unique ability to identify and cultivate talent was unparalleled. He is unrivaled in his contributions to the music industry and the world of entertainment. The careers of countless artists and music legends, including Mary J. Blige, Heavy D and the Boyz, and Teddy Riley, were launched by Andre Harrell. He is credited with having the foresight to hire and mentor music mogul and icon, P. Diddy. He served as chief executive officer of Motown, was president of Bad Boy Records, was vice chairman of Revolt TV, and founded his own highly successful label, Uptown Records. Many entertainers and corporations sought his counsel, and he was always accessible to elected officials and civil rights leaders. He joined me in Washington for my annual CBCF Financial Wealth Building Series in 2017 where I organized a panel featuring P. Diddy, Andre Harrell, and the executives of Combs Enterprises to discuss the economic impact of hip hop.
“There are few individuals who fully embody the undeniable impact of our community on music, entertainment, the arts, and the global economy. Andre Harrell is one of them. I am so grateful to have known him, and I thank him for so willingly sharing his talent and creative genius with the world. It is hard to believe or understand that Andre is no longer with us, and I extend my deepest sympathies to his son, Gianni Credle-Harrell, his family, friends, and colleagues. The magnitude of Andre Harrell’s genuine commitment to the concerns of the African American community cannot be overstated. In honor of his legacy, let us all strengthen our involvement and participation in the 2020 election.”