The Roots' longtime manager dies at 55

Posted: July 18, 2014

RICH NICHOLS, the longtime manager of the popular Philly hip-hop and neo-soul band the Roots, died yesterday after a long battle with leukemia. He was 55.

Nichols, of Philadelphia, had managed the Roots since their start in 1992 and was "instrumental" in every part of the group's "creative, cultural and professional life," according to a statement released by the band.

"He was a great dude. . . . He was, creatively, one of the most special men I've ever met," said Larry Gold, who ran the famed Studio on 7th Street near Callowhill, where the Roots and other artists recorded.

Gold said Nichols was a mentor to "innumerable" people trying to find their way in life and that he had an eye for talent.

Nichols was involved with "every note, every word, every mix, every nuance" of the music his artists recorded, Gold said. He recalled many times where he'd leave the studio late at night and Nichols was still working. Gold would tell Nichols he was "the boss" and that he "never cared what went on" because he trusted him so much.

"I really loved this gentleman," Gold said. "It feels like the end of an era."

Nichols is survived by his wife, Mercedes Martinez; two sons, Amiri and Rakim Nichols; two brothers; and two sisters, according to the Roots' statement.


On Twitter: @dylan_segelbaum

 

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