Leonard ‘Hub’ Hubbard, the longtime bassist of the iconic Philadelphia outfit The Roots, has passed away following a protracted battle with cancer.
His wife, Stephanie, broke the news to the Inquirer and revealed that the cause of death was multiple myeloma, an aggressive form of blood cancer that Hubbard was diagnosed with all the way back in 2007. On the evening of Thursday, December 16th, the band took to their social media accounts to pay tribute to their lost comrade.
“It’s with the heaviest of hearts that we say goodbye to our brother Leonard Nelson Hubbard,” the Roots said. “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 was hospitalised on Wednesday, December 15th, at Lankenau Hospital in Philadelphia. The musician was 62 years old. Hubbard joined The Roots in 1992 when they were playing under the moniker The Square Roots. The following year they released their acclaimed debut album, Organix.
He played on all their early albums, including 1994’s Do You Want More?!!!??! and finishing with 2006’s Game Theory. He left the band in 2007 following his diagnosis but joined up with them for a show at the annual Roots Picnic in Philadelphia.
Hubbard co-wrote a number of Roots songs, and during his 15-year stint, he also was part of the band when they supported Jay-Z for his lauded MTV Unplugged appearance in 2001. In 2016, Hub sued former bandmates Questlove and Black Thought and their manager over failure to pay him royalties.
Hubbard’s spouse explained to the Inquirer that her husband had actually been in remission until this November and that over the last few years, he’d be reingratiating himself with music. It is said that he was working on a record featuring collaborations with Vernon Reid and Ben Harper, to name but a couple.
Mrs. Hubbard also revealed that the album was completed last week, so time will tell whether it ever sees the light of day.