By RACHEL GEORGE, ABC News
Celebrities like Mariah Carey, Charlamagne Tha God and more came together to virtually celebrate Andre Harrell during BET’s A Tribute to Andre Harrell Sunday night.
The legendary music executive and founder of Uptown Records, who died May 7 at age 59, launched the careers of Mary J. Blige, Al B. Sure, Heavy D & The Boyz, Monifah, The Lost Boyz and more in the 1990s and is credited for the success of Sean “Diddy” Combs.
Pharrell Williams was among the first to speak during the special, thanking Andre for changing history through sound.
“I would not be here as a musician if it were not for him recognizing what was in Teddy Riley, if it were not for him recognizing what was in Puff [Daddy],” Pharrell said.
“That was his talent,” he added. “He could look at you and see how you would inspire the world.”
Tyrese Gibson was next up revealing an upcoming movie role as singer Teddy Pendergrass — a role he claims said Andre predicted he’d win an Oscar for.
The tribute also reminded viewers of Harrell’s role in film production working on movies such as Chris Rock‘s Good Hair, Honey with Jessica Alba, and hit series New York Undercover, followed by a special appearance from Lee Daniels.
Naomi Campbell appeared expressing her gratitude for Andre and being able to experience “a very rare human being with the biggest heart.”
Kathy Sledge also paid tribute singing Sister Sledge’s “Thinking Of You,” while Mariah Carey shared that she had been looking over old photos of them together, remembering Andre’s “humor and uniqueness.”
After singing Jodeci‘s “Talk to Me,” Robin Thicke played a new song he was able to finish with Andre just one week before his passing. “So this is Andre [Harrell] approved with his final thoughts,” he said before playing the track called, “Forever Mine.”
Russell Simmons, Kimora Lee Simmons, Quincy Jones, and Maxine Waters were also on hand to share fond memories of Andre and send condolences to Andre’s family.
Babyface penned a special song to his dear friend before images of Diddy and Andre began appearing on the screen.
Harrell’s son, Gianni, closed out the evening thanking fans and supporters for their love and prayers and celebrating those who contributed to his father’s impactful legacy.
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