The Roots’ longtime bassist Leonard Hubbard dead at 62

Image via Paul Hawthorne/Getty Images

Leonard ‘Hub’ Hubbard, the bass player of legendary band The Roots, tragically succumbed to his ongoing battle with cancer on December 16, at the age of 62. Hubbard played bass for the band from 1992 to 2006. 

The musician’s wife Stephanie confirmed the news by releasing a statement to the Philadelphia Inquirer. In the announcement, Stephanie shared that her husband passed away from multiple myeloma, a rare form of blood cancer that begins in the plasma cells.

Hubbard’s wife also reported the bassist was first diagnosed with this about 14 years ago, and was in remission until last month. After Hubbard was hospitalized on Wednesday, things ultimately took a turn for the worst. 

Hubbard first joined The Roots in 1992 when the group was still under the alias The Square Roots, worked on every one of the group’s projects until 2006. His final collaboration with The Roots was 2006’s “Game Theory” album. He ultimately left the group in 2007 to pursue solo endeavors. Over the years, since his departure, Hubbard worked as a composer, before returning for The Roots’ reunion. 

Before his passing, Hubbard worked on an album with numerous artists like Jill Scott, Vernon Reid, and Ben Harper, which was reportedly completed last week. 

As news about Hubbard’s death circulated, The Roots’ official social media page paid tribute to the star. Alongside a black and white photo of Hubbard, the post read, “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.”

Hubbard leaves behind his wife Stephanie, two stepdaughters, and a stepson. His death comes after The Roots founding member Malik Abdul-Basit also known as Malik B., passed away last year.