‘Rest In Melody Hub’: The Roots Founding Member Leonard ‘Hub’ Hubbard Passes Away at 62

The hip-hop community has been hit with another loss. Leonard “Hub” Hubbard, Grammy Award-winning bassist and founding member of the hip-hop group The Roots, has died following a long battle with blood cancer. He was 62 years old. 

Hubbard’s wife, Stephanie Hubbard, confirmed the musician’s passing with Philadelphia, Pennsylvania’s ABC 6. She revealed that her husband had been battling cancer for more than a decade. However, Wednesday night, Dec. 15, his health took an unexpected turn. 

Hub (Leonard Nelson Hubbard) of The Roots performs in concert at the 9:30 Club in Washington DC during an MTV 2 $2Bill Tour. (Photo by Pete Mitchell/WireImage)

“I was called to the hospital. They told me what had happened that he had passed. I went to the hospital and was able to sit with him,” Stephanie explained. “It happened quickly. He didn’t suffer a lot.”

The widow said Hub was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2017. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Multiple myeloma is cancer that forms in a type of white blood cell called a plasma cell. Cancerous plasma cells accumulate in the bone marrow and crowd out healthy blood cells. Rather than produce helpful antibodies, the cancer cells produce abnormal proteins that can cause complications.”

Fellow musicians and fans flocked to social media where they offered their condolences and prayer as they reflected on the musician’s legacy, including one Twitter user who wrote “God Bless Leonard ‘Hub’ Hubbard and his family,” before reflecting on a time they saw Hub perform. 

“I remember going to see The Roots at @MetroChicago ‘Illadelph Halflife’ dropped. I watched Hub do the “star spangled banner” on his bass and it blew me away. The best Roots show I have been to,” they added. 

“Rest in power Leonard Hubbard aka Hub.  No matter what he will always be a part of the Legendary Roots Crew.  Dope bassist and musician,” wrote another person. 


The Roots released a statement regarding their former band member. Sharing a vintage photo of Hub, the page wrote, “It is with the heaviest of hearts that we say goodbye to our brother Leonard Nelson Hubbard.” It continued, “May your transition bring peace to your family to your friends to your fans and all o those who loved you. Rest in Melody Hub.”

Hub joined the group in 1992 but left following his cancer diagnosis. During his time with the band, he recorded seven albums and made two guest appearances with the group following his depature from the group.

Around 2016, Hub’s business relationship with the group began to crumble after he filed a civil lawsuit against group members, including Tarik “Black Thought” Trotter, Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, and manager Shawn Gee over claims that he was owed money as a founding shareholder of the group. His wife told the outlet they suit had not yet been settled. 

Hub’s death come a little over one year following the passing of another founding member, Malik B. Hub is survived by his wife Stephanie, stepdaughters India Owens, Onita Owens, and stepson Edward Owens. 

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