UPDATE: The Roots have issued the following statement on Nichols' death:
The Roots Family are devastated to announce the passing of Richard Nichols, the band’s longtime manager, after a long battle with leukemia. Nichols, 55, a Philadelphia native, managed the band from its inception in 1992, and was instrumental in every aspect of The Roots’ creative, cultural, and professional life over the past two decades. Nichols is survived by his wife, Mercedes Martinez, his sons Amiri Nichols and Rakim Nichols, his sisters Rochelle Nichols-Solomon, Rebecca Dennis, his brothers Russell Nichols and Reginald Nichols, and the many individuals and artists he mentored in his lifetime.
Richard Nichols, who managed and produced The Roots for two decades, died today after a long struggle with leukemia, a source close to the band confirmed to Billboard this afternoon (July 17). The death was also confirmed on The Roots online home, website Okayplayer, which posted that Nichols, "the guiding spirit behind the group," died at 3:05 pm.