Nick Ashford of Ashford and Simpson Dies

Entertainment Aug. 23, 2011 AT 9:53AM
Nick Ashford of Ashford and Simpson Dies Credit: Richard E. Aaron/Redferns

Motown has lost one of its greats.

Nick Ashford, the singer and songwriter from the duo Ashford and Simpson, died of throat cancer in a New York City hospital on Monday, Rolling Stone reports. He was 70 years old.

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With wife Valerie Simpson (they met in 1964 and married in 1975), Ashford wrote such classic songs at "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," "I'm Every Woman" and "Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing."

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With their heyday in the 60s and 70s, Ashford and Simpson wrote hit after hit for the likes of Diana Ross, Gladys Knight, Smokey Robinson, Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan, Ray Charles and other Motown superstars.

As a singing group themselves, Ashford and Simpson recorded such smashes at "Don't Cost You Nothin'" and 1984's "Solid." They continued recording and touring up until very recently.

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Ashford is survived by Simpson, 64, and their daughters Nicole and Asia.

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