Posted in music on August 22, 2011
Nick Ashford, who along with wife Valerie Simpson helped set the gold standard for R&B duets, both as songwriters and performers, died of throat cancer Monday in a New York hospital. He was 69.RIP Ashford!
Ashford & Simpson -- you can't think of one without the other -- penned and produced almost all of the '60s hits for Motown's Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, including Ain't No Mountain High Enough, You're All I Need to Get By, Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing and Your Precious Love. They also wrote hits for Chuck Jackson, The Shirelles, Maxine Brown and the Fifth Dimension.
Ray Charles' 1966 No. 1 R&B hit Let's Go Get Stoned was their breakthrough record. They would later write and produce Diana Ross' biggest solo hits, including her signature Reach Out and Touch (Somebody's Hand). They also wrote Chaka Khan's I'm Every Woman, which was later recorded by Whitney Houston. [USA Today]