Leonard “Hub” Hubbard, the bass player known for his work in The Roots, has died at the age of 62. His wife, Stephanie, told The Philadelphia Inquirer that he died of multiple myeloma, a form of blood cancer. Hubbard was first diagnosed with the disease in 2007 and had been in remission until last month.
“It happened quickly,” his wife told the local Action News station. “He didn’t suffer a lot.”
Raised in West Philadelphia, Hubbard joined The Roots in 1992, back when they were called The Square Roots. Soon after, they dropped the “Square” from their name and released their first album, 1993’s Organix. Hubbard played on all of the band’s records, including 1995’s Do You Want More?!!!??!, 1999’s Things Fall Apart, and 2004’s The Tipping Point, until his departure from the group in 2007. Two years later, The Roots became Jimmy Fallon’s in-house band.
As a solo artist, Hubbard scored Bertha Bay-Sa Pan’s 2002 film Face and the 2006 documentary Darfur Diaries: Message From Home. In 2016, he sued The Roots’ founding members Questlove and Black Thought, as well as manager Shawn Gee, arguing he was owed money as a founding shareholder of the band.
Hubbard’s death follows the passing of founding Roots MC Malik “Malik B.” Abdul-Basit, who passed away last year.