Leonard “Hub” Hubbard

Leonard “Hub” Hubbard – Rest in Melody

Mourning the loss of Philly’s Leonard “Hub” Hubbard of The Roots.

Sadly, The Roots’ foundation has shaken for the second time within the year. First, mouthpiece Malik B. died suddenly at the age of 47 in 2020. Last night, one of its earliest members, after Questlove and Black Thought, bassist Leonard “Hub” Hubbard, passed away at the age of 62 after a long battle with multiple myeloma, a rare form of blood cancer of which Hub was diagnosed in 2007.

Hub was part of The Roots crew starting back in 1992 when they were still jamming on South Street, and played as part of the ever-widening ensemble until 2006’s Game Theory, where his credits extended to arranger and co-composer. Though Hubbard left The Roots after his 2007 cancer diagnosis, he surprised Philly crowds in 2008, by reuniting with his brothers onstage at the annual Roots Picnic at Penn’s Landing. It was always a thrill seeing Hubbard on stage. He could be a funk monster as well as a delicately nuanced jazz master.

Leonard “Hub” Hubbard

There may have been bad blood between Hub and The Roots at one point, but never believe that the bassist and composer didn’t forever stay part of the fam. He was a lovely man, a gentle soul and a diabolically brilliant musician and writer.

“It’s with the heaviest of hearts that we say goodbye to our brother Leonard Nelson Hubbard,” the Roots wrote. “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.”

Leonard “Hub” Hubbard


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