Leonard Hubbard, Founding Bassist for the Roots, Dead at 62

Photo: William Thomas Cain/Getty Images

Bassist Leonard Hubbard, a founding member of the Roots who performed under the name “Hub,” has died from cancer at the age of 62. A Philadelphia native, Hubbard left the band in 2007 after 15 years of touring and recording after being diagnosed with myeloma, a form of blood cancer. Hubbard’s wife, Stephanie, confirmed his death from multiple myeloma on Thursday, December 16, to Philadelphia’s ABC 6. “I was called to the hospital,” she told the station. “They told me what had happened, that he had passed. I went to the hospital and was able to sit with him.” She said he had finished a new musical composition called “The Awakening” just last week.

Hubbard joined Questlove, Black Thought, and Malik B. in 1992 before releasing the group’s first album, Organix, the following year. Over the course of his career with the group, Hubbard recorded six more albums with the group, including the breakthrough Things Fall Apart, his bass helping form their signature jazz-inflected sound. Last year, Malik B. died at the age of 47. The Roots posted a message to their official Twitter page on Friday mourning Hub. “It’s with the heaviest of hearts that we say goodbye to our brother Leonard Nelson Hubbard,” it reads. “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.”

The Roots Bassist Leonard Hubbard Dead at 62