Legendary singer and songwriter Nick Ashford, died today at age 70. Simpson was battling throat cancer and had just undergone radiation treatment. His publicist confirmed that he died at a New York City hospital.
The husband-wife duo Ashford & Simpson was a fixture at Motown and was known for their string of hits throughout the years. Not only did they have an incredible ride singing as a duo, they helped other recording artists catapult their careers with some of Motown’s greatest hits.
Starting in the 60’s they found little success as a singing duo, but quickly affected the singing careers of Diana Ross, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, and so many others. The long list of popular tunes written by them was astounding and included; “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)”.
The amazing duo was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2002. This was well deserving and It was an incredible experience to see them perform; you could feel the love between them. During a stint in Chicago a few years back, I had the opportunity to meet them after they rocked a concert in Country Club Hills. I remember saying, “Wow, they wrote all these hits!” They seemed as fresh as the day they hit the music scene and when singing their hit “Solid”, it was obvious this still held true. They were solid as a rock, which was a pleasure to witness.
This is a huge loss for the music industry and certainly will be painful for wife Valerie to accept. Nick Simpson also leaves behind two daughters. He will be greatly missed, but his music will live on forever.