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The Roots founding member Malik B dies aged 47

Malik B, rapper and founding member of The Roots, has died aged 47.

Malik B performs in studio. Source: Associated Press

The group announced the death of the Philadelphia-based emcee in a social media post today.

The cause of death has not been released.

Malik B, whose real name is Malik Abdul Basit, was a major contributor to the group, which includes Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson and Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter.

He appeared on four albums before departing the group in 1999.

In the following year, The Roots won their first Grammy.