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Questlove Pens Heartfelt Tribute To Late Manager Richard Nichols

Dimitrios Kambouris, Getty Images

As we shared earlier this month, the Roots lost their longtime manager and svengali, Richard Nichols, who tragically passed away after battling leukemia. Upon hearing the news, artists from all over the music industry sent out tweets, expressing their sadness and condolences.

The Roots’ drummer Questlove recently wrote a heartfelt tribute to Nichols and broke down how the Roots first met him and how he ended up managing them.

“I first met Rich when I was a teenager in Philadelphia, when the band that would become the Roots started crystallizing around me and Tariq Trotter,” he wrote. “Rich came to the show with a friend of his.”

“Rich’s reputation preceeded him, sort of: He was the DJ for a cutting-edge experimental jazz show on WRTI, the Temple University radio station; when Tariqu and I were coming back from parties or concerts late at night, we would flip on the radio and listen to Rich’s show….That time, someting about us clicked with something in him. He was driving Tariq home and Tariq told him straight out that he should manage us. That was all it took.”

Quest also described Nichols’ engaging personality and character. “Rich was perfectly imperfect: brilliant, contrarian, combative, loving, loyal, funny, serious, deeply moral, deeply profane, and a whole lot of other adjectives that now mean nothing without the person who made them mean everything.”

Near the end of the letter, Quest wrote about visiting his late manager in the hospital right before he died, and said he’ll always be a part of the Roots for his friendship, assistance and many contributions.

“He will live on in me, in Black Thought, in the rest of the Roots, and in every artist and project he touched,” he expressed.

You can read Questlove’s full tribute here.

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