The R&B lost three legends this weekend to Little Richard, Andre Harrell and Betty Wright

(L-R) Betty Wright, Little Richard and Andre Harrell
Singers Betty Wright and Little Richard along with musical director Andre Harrell died this weekend. They all had a major impact on R&B and the music industry as a whole. If one did not advance the genre, another was introducing the world to new acts.
Soul Betty Wright died of cancer on Sunday at the age of 66 at her Miami home, according to Billboard.

She had been diagnosed with endometrial cancer in the fall, Steve Greenberg, president of S-Curve Records who worked with Wright, told The New York Times.

Wright’s career began with his family’s evangelical group, second Boardand released his first album at the age of 14 in 1968.
Many of his hits have been sampled by rappers and singers like Beyoncé, Color Me Bad is Chance the Rapper.

Little Richard was one of the first rock figures

The screaming wild man, preening, steals the scenes of the first rock ‘n’ roll first appeared in the 1950s with hits like “Tutti Frutti, “”Long Tall Sally” is “Slippin ‘and Slidin‘. ”
The Macon, Georgia native had a long career after seeing him become one of the first induced in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, obtaining a street that bears his name in his hometown and received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 1993 Grammys.

Aside from music, Little Richard’s best known ambivalence was in his attitude towards his sexuality. He told Charles White that he was “homosexual”. A decade later, he told Penthouse magazine that he had always known he was gay.

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“I’ve been gay all my life and I know that God is a God of love, not hate,” he said to the magazine in 1995. “How can I (put) down the fisherman when I have fished all my life?”

Andre Harrell had an eternal streak in hip-hop

Andre Harrell, left, and Sean

Harrell is credited with guiding Sean Diddy Combs and discovering and launching the careers of various artists and animators.

He started in 1980 with one of the two rap group members Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde. Harrell was hired by Def Jam Records, where he worked as vice president and then became general manager of the label.

It was when he founded Uptown Records that things really took off. He hired Diddy as an intern and launched the careers of Mary J. Blige, Heavy D and The Boyz, Jodeci and Teddy Riley.

“Known for having the Midas touch when it came to discovering and developing talent, Andre was responsible for changing the sound of R&B music and meeting artists and executives in what was then known as” pop culture “,” the Combs Enterprises website She said.

CNN’s Todd Leopold, Chloe Melas, Hollie Silverman and Jay Croft contributed to this report.


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