Photo: Getty Images
  /  12.17.2021

Leonard “Hub” Hubbard, former longtime bassist for The Roots, passed away on Thursday (Dec. 16), the group and his family confirmed. He was 62 years old.

“It’s with the heaviest of hearts that we say goodbye to our brother Leonard Nelson Hubbard,” The Roots said via Twitter. “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.”

Hub suffered from multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer, since 2007; his wife Stephanie Hubbard told The Philadelphia Inquirer. The musician had been in remission until the cancer returned last month.

Despite being energetic and mobile earlier this week, Stephanie said Hub suddenly wasn’t able to move. She took him to the Lankenau Medical Center on Wednesday night (Dec. 15), but wasn’t allowed to stay with him due to the hospital’s COVID-19 protocols. The following day, his health took a turn for the worst.

“I was called to the hospital. They told me what had happened that he had passed. I went to the hospital and was able to sit with him,” Stephanie told ABC 6.

Hub recorded seven albums with The Roots, including the group’s debut LP, Organix, in 1993. He stopped touring with the band in 2007 following his cancer diagnosis.

Stephanie said Hub had been working on putting together an album of songs that he composed for the likes of Jill Scott, Ben Harper and more, called The Awakening. She said he just finished the project last week.

“He wanted to be known for the type of music he was composing,” she told The Inquirer. “And before he died, he was sitting there at night listening to the music and he was so happy with it.”

Hub’s death follows the passing of another Roots member, Malik Abdul Basit, who died in July 2020.


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