Longtime member of The Roots, Leonard “Hub” Hubbard, has reportedly passed away. According to ABC6 Philadelphia, the talented bassist had been battling cancer for over a decade at which time he was forced to stop touring. Hub initially responded well to treatment, but his wife Stephanie Hubbard drove him to Lankenau Hospital on Wednesday (December 15) after he suddenly couldn’t move.
While she wasn’t allowed to stay because of COVID-19, hours later she got a call from the hospital saying his condition had taken an unexpected turn.
“They told me what had happened, that he had passed,” she said tearfully. “I went to the hospital and was able to sit with him.” In a Twitter post from reporter Christie Ileto, Hubbard added, “It happened quickly. He didn’t suffer a lot.” Hubbard was surprised though, saying he was “upbeat” and “mobile” the previous day.
The Roots paid tributed on Instagram with a photo of Hub and caption that read, “It is 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 those who loved you. Rest in Melody Hub.”
Hub was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2007, a type of blood cancer. As defined by Mayo Clinic, multiple myeloma is a cancer that “forms in a type of white blood cell called a plasma cell. Healthy plasma cells help you fight infections by making antibodies that recognize and attack germs.
“In multiple myeloma, 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.”
Hub underwent two rounds of chemotherapy and even managed to do an album with Jill Scott. Hubbard said he finished a composition called “The Awakening” just a week before his death.
“When you hear his project,” Hubbard said, “you’ll see he was so much more than what people know.”
Hub recorded seven albums with The Roots, including 1995’s Illadelph Halflife and 1999’s Things Fall Apart. In 2016, Hub filed a lawsuit against some of The Roots members after alleging he was being paid less than other members, “despite his deal with the band calling for him to continue being paid as a co-owner.” Hubbard says that suit has yet to be settled.
In 2007, Hub was diagnosed with a multiple myeloma, a blood cancer. He managed to still produce music and collaborate with artists like Jill Scott, while battling cancer for more than a decade. Full story on @6abc https://t.co/AoWCAOPzhA https://t.co/uwPjOx1nmx pic.twitter.com/GtwHUVKf8o
— Christie Ileto (@Christie_Ileto) December 17, 2021