BET still plans a miniseries on the life of Uptown Records founder Andre Harrell, who died Thursday night at age 59.
Harrell launched Uptown Records in 1986, and signed such classic R&B and hip-hop artists as Al B. Sure, Guy, and the late Heavy D. He hired Sean “Diddy” Combs as an intern, and later promoted Combs to talent manager for the label.
In December, BET ordered a three-part miniseries titled Uptown about Harrell’s life and label. The network said Saturday it remains committed to the project.
“We are mourning the loss of a cultural icon, Andre Harrell, a chief architect of the modern hip-hop and R&B sound,” BET president Scott Mills said in a statement to Variety. “Andre was tremendously excited about sharing the origin story of Uptown Records, and its pivotal role in the urban music landscape. With his tragic passing, BET is committed to ensuring that the Uptown limited series event tells both the Uptown story and Andre’s story — that of the incredible music innovator, man and friend to so many.”
Related Story: Andre Harrell Dies – Uptown Records Founder, Who Gave Diddy His Start, Was 59
Harrell was set to serve as an executive producer on the miniseries with Jesse Collins of Jesse Collins Entertainment, the same production company behind BET’s The New Edition Story and The Bobby Brown Story.
A Saturday post on the Jesse Collins Entertainment Instagram page said Harrell was closely involved with the script for his life story. He spoke with Collins the day before his death and said, “We gotta get the ending right.”
The Andre Harrell miniseries had been planned for later this year but production was delayed because of the industry-wide coronavirus shutdown that began in March.