Leonard ‘Hub’ Hubbard, Longtime Bassist for The Roots, Dead at 62

    Leonard ‘Hub’ Hubbard, longtime member of the Philadelphia hip-hop collective the Roots, has died. He was 62 years old. The news was confirmed by Hubbard’s step-daughter India Owens, who told the Philadelphia Inquirer that the bassist’s cause of death was multiple myeloma, a form of blood cancer that Hubbard was diagnosed with in 2007.

    The Roots issued a statement about Hubbard’s death on their official social media accounts on Thursday evening, writing: “It’s with the heaviest of hearts that we say goodbye to our brother Leonard Nelson Hubbard. May your transition bring peace to your family to your friends to your fans and all of those who loved you. Rest in Melody Hub.”

    Originally from West Philadelphia, Hubbard joined the Roots in 1992, when the band was known as Square Roots. That same year, they moved to London and issued their debut album, Organix, in 1993. Hubbard went on to perform with the group for 15 years and played on every one of their albums until 2007, including 1993’s Organix, 1995’s Do You Want More?!!!??!, 1996’s Illadelph Halflife, 1999’s Things Fall Apart, 2002’s Phrenology, 2004’s The Tipping Point, and 2006’s Game Theory.

    In addition to his work in the Roots, Hubbard composed the score for Bertha Bay-Sa Pan’s 2002 indie film Face and the 2006 documentary Darfur Diaries: Message From Home. In 2016, he sued former Roots bandmates Questlove and Black Thought, as well as the band’s manager Shawn Gee, alleging that he was owed money as a co-owner of the group. Last year, Roots co-founder Malik “Malik B.” Abdul-Basit died at the age of 47.

    Konstantinos Pappis
    Konstantinos Pappis
    Konstantinos Pappis is a writer, journalist, and music editor at Our Culture. His work has also appeared in Pitchfork, GIGsoup, and other publications. He currently lives in Athens, Greece.

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