Former Roots Bassist Leonard Hubbard Dead At 62

William Thomas Cain/Getty Image

Former Roots Bassist Leonard Hubbard Dead At 62

William Thomas Cain/Getty Image

Leonard “Hub” Hubbard, the bass player who played with the Roots for 15 years, has died. He was 62. 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. Hubbard was first diagnosed in 2007 and had been in remission until last month.

In a statement on social media, the Roots paid tribute to Hubbard, 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 group was called Square Roots. He played on every one of the band’s 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. Hubbard left the band in 2006, two years before the Roots would become Jimmy Fallon’s in-house band on The Tonight Show.

In addition to his work in the Roots, Hubbard scored Bertha Bay-Sa Pan’s 2002 film Face and the 2006 documentary Darfur Diaries: Message From Home. In 2016, Hubbard filed a lawsuit against former Roots bandmates Questlove and Black Thought, and Roots manager Shawn Gee, claiming he was owed money as a founding shareholder of the band.

Hubbard’s death follows the recent passing of Roots founding member Malik “Malik B.” Abdul-Basit, who died last year.

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