Nick Ashford Dies, Co-Wrote, Performed Long List Of Hits
August 23, 2011 at 11:28 AM (PT)
NICK ASHFORD, who with wife VALERIE SIMPSON composed a string of R&B and Pop hits at MOTOWN and for others, and also had hits as performers, died MONDAY in NEW YORK at 70. ASHFORD has been battling throat cancer.
ASHFORD and SIMPSON wrote for, among others, RAY CHARLES and ARETHA FRANKLIN before joining MOTOWN in 1966, where they wrote and produced most of MARVIN GAYE and TAMMI TERRELL's duet hits, including "Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing," "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," "Your Precious Love" and "You're All I Need to Get By.". More hits followed with DIANA ROSS ("Reach Out And Touch (Somebody's Hand)"), CHAKA KHAN ("I'm Every Woman") and more.
As artists, ASHFORD and SIMPSON were best known for the hit "Solid" and recorded several more R&B chart hits. They also hosted at WRKS (98.7 KISS FM)/NEW YORK in the '90s.
Gamble & Huff Respond To Ashford's Passing
KENNY GAMBLE and LEON HUFF, of the legendary R&B writing/production team, have issued a statement on the passing of NICK ASHFORD. "NICK ASHFORD was truly one of our favorite songwriting colleagues and producers. He and VALERIE SIMPSON had a major impact on GAMBLE and HUFF's songwriting career. NICK was responsible for producing a song we wrote, 'I'm Gonna Make You Love Me,' with MOTOWN. NICK heard the song after we wrote it for DEE DEE WARWICK and made it a major hit for DIANA ROSS and THE SUPREMES and TEMPTATIONS together. We also worked with ASHFORD and SIMPSON on 'Is It Still Good To You?,' which they wrote for TEDDY PENDERGRASS, and they did an excellent job. We're longtime admirers of ASHFORD and SIMPSON as one of the greatest songwriting teams ever. NICK was a multi-talented artist and he will be truly, truly missed by both of us."