Music

Nick Ashford of Motown’s Ashford & Simpson Duo, Dies at 70

Mon., Aug. 22, 2011 11:39 PM EDT
by Kathleen Cross

Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson met in church in 1963 and spent the next 48 years making beautiful music together. “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “You’re All I Need To Get By,” “Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing” and “Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand)” are but a few of the Motown hits written by the awesome duo known as Ashford & Simpson.

The husband and wife team not only wrote chartbusters for other artists,  they were recording artists and performers themselves–their biggest hit, a testament to their love and passion for one another titled, “Solid” topped the R&B charts in 1985. “Solid” was re-released in 2009 as a tribute to President Barack Obama with the title, “Solid as Barack.”

Sadly, the duo Ashford & Simpson is no more. Nick Ashford died Aug. 22 after battling throat cancer. He is survived by his wife, Valerie, and their two children.

Ashford & Simpson have stood for almost half a century as one gorgeous portrait of black love. Their music is the soundtrack for so many of our lives and our loves. This feels like losing a family member.

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