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The Roots Manager Richard Nichols Dies, Music Industry Reacts

Sad news in the music world. The Roots‘ longtime manager Richard Nichols has passed away. On Wednesday (July 16), news of his death spread through the Twitterverse although there hasn’t been an official confirmation from the Roots crew.

Nichols was formerly a jazz radio DJ who embraced all genres of music including hip-hop. He became the Roots’ manager in 1991, and played an integral part in the Philadelphia-bred band’s longevity in the music industry. Nichols was also the executive producer of all of the Roots’ albums including their latest, ‘…and then you shoot your cousin.’

Author Ben Greenman, who co-wrote the book ‘Mo’ Meta Blues’ with Roots’ drummer Questlove, described Nichols as the brain trust of the group.

“You know how in comic books there’s a super-villain who’s a giant brain in a jar… [who’s] in control of everything? Rich is like a non-evil version of that,” he told the Philadelphia Inquirer in 2013.

Nichols also produced and worked with several Philly artists including Jill Scott, Musiq Soulchild, Jaguar Wright, Dice Raw and the Jazzyfatnastees, among others. His production credits also extend outside of Philadelphia, having produced for legendary artists like Al Jarreau, Sly & the Family Stone, Al Green, Erykah Badu, Zap Mama and Common.

Upon news of Richard Nichols untimely death, rappers and R&B singers tweeted their condolences.

Our heartfelt prayers go out to the Roots and the Nichols family. There has been no word on his cause of death.

Read the tweets below.

Watch a Short Film About Richard Nichols of The Roots

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