Motown Singer, Songwriter Nick Ashford Dead
One of Motown’s more versatile talents lost his battle to throat cancer yesterday at the age of 70. Along with his partner Valerie Simpson, Ashford & Simpson had their hand in a lot of the hits coming from Motown in the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s.
As a songwriting team, no one could touch them.
The pair found fame with the Berry Gordy-founded record label, writing hits like “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “Reach Out and Touch Somebody’s Hand” and “I’m Every Woman” for singers like Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, and Chaka Khan, in the ’60s and ’70s. The pair’s breakout hit came courtesy of “Let’s Go Get Stoned,” recorded by Ray Charles in 1966.
Ashford & Simpson also tried their hand at recording their own hits – with some success. They’re probably best remembered for the 1984 hit “Solid (As A Rock)”.
But their musical legacy didn’t end there.
In the mid-’90s, the duo opened the Sugar Bar in Manhattan, where they still frequently performed. They also connected with a new generation of music lovers when they worked with the late Amy Winehouse on her track “Tears Dry on Their Own.” The pair received a songwriting credit for the song, which samples “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.”