Leonard ‘Hub’ Hubbard, Founding Member of The Roots, Dies at 62

·2-min read

The original bassist of The Roots, Leonard Hubbard, known to many as “Hub,” has died. He was 62.

Hubbard’s wife told the local Philadelphia ABC station that Leonard was diagnosed with myeloma — a type of blood cancer — in 2007. 

The Roots were formed in Philly in the late ’80s/early ’90s. The group is now the house band for NBC’s “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.”

Stephanie Hubbard said she took her husband to Lankenau Hospital Wednesday night. She was not allowed to stay because of COVID protocols.

A day earlier, Hub was energetic and mobile, his wife told ABC. Then he suddenly could not move. Stephanie Hubbard said Leonard had just finished a composition last week titled “The Awakening.”

Leonard Hubbard recorded seven albums with The Roots. He stopped touring with the group after his 2007 diagnosis. 

“It is with the heaviest of hearts that we say goodbye to our brother Leonard Nelson Hubbard,” a statement on the official Instagram page for The Roots read. “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 sued some Roots members in 2016, alleging that he was paid less than others. At the time, Hubbard said his deal was to continue on as a co-owner of the band. His wife told ABC that the lawsuit has still not been settled.

The massive — and legendary — hip-hop band is comprised of Black Thought, Questlove, Kamal Gray, Captain Kirk Douglas, Damon “Tuba Gooding Jr.” Bryson, Ray Angry, James Poyser, Mark Kelley, Stro Elliot, Jeremy Ellis, Ian Hendrickson-Smith and Dave Guy. In addition to Hub, past members include Josh “Rubberband” Abrams, Malik B., Owen Biddle, Kid Crumbs, Dice Raw, F. Knucklesm Ben Kenney, Martin Luther, Rahzel, Scratch, Scott Storch and Nikki Yeoh.

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