Home / Music / Legendary Songwriter Nick Ashford Succumbs to Throat Cancer

Legendary Songwriter Nick Ashford Succumbs to Throat Cancer

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Nick Ashford, one half of the celebrated songwriting duo Ashford and Simpson, died Monday in a New York City hospital. According to publicist and longtime friend Liz Rosenberg per the Associated Press, Ashford had been suffering from throat cancer and had undergone radiation treatment. He was 70.

Ashford and Simpson’s first found notable success when they created the gospel-blues infused “Let’s Go Get Stoned” for Ray Charles and caught the ear of Motown Records.

Together the couple went on to pen rich and robust, timeless classics like “Reach Out And Touch (Somebody’s Hand)” and “Remember Me,” both for Diana Ross, as well as hip-shaking joints like Chaka Khan’s “I’m Every Woman,” which Whitney Houston later covered. They wrote multiple hits for Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, including “Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing” “You’re All I Need To Get By,” and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” the latter also becoming a hit for Diana Ross, who recorded it with more contemporary instrumentation embraced by pop radio. And they composed some music for The Wiz, starring Ross and Michael Jackson.

Ashford and Simpson enjoyed their own success as recording artists when they started writing for themselves, most notably with the hit single “Solid.” And they continued to dole out hits well into this decade and are credited as co-writers of the late Amy Winehouse’s “Tears Dry On Their Own.”

Ashford, a South Carolina native, had come to New York City to pursue a dance career, but everything changed in 1964 when he met Simpson, a music student, in New York City’s White Rock Baptist Church. Their relationship endured for more than four decades.

In 2002, Ashford and Simpson were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Nick Ashford is survived by his wife and two daughters. At press time, there is no information on funeral arrangements.



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About Diane Morasco

Diane Morasco is a triple fusion ethnically – vanilla, caramel and chocolate – and creatively – designer, media proprietor and writer. Ms. Morasco was born in the juicy apple and with a panoramic view of the Hudson River still calls the city home. She is the Founder, CEO, Chief Creative Officer, and Publisher of J Fox Ink™ (JFI), Founder, CEO, Chief Creative Officer of Diane Morasco Enterprises™ (DME), which is the parent company of Morasco Media™ (MM), and The Book Resort™ (TBR). Ms. Morasco first cut her teeth interviewing the immensely talented cast members of Eureka, Warehouse 13, and Sons of Anarchy, as well as Kurt Sutter himself. She counts Ron Howard, Eddie McClintock and the Sons of Anarchy cast and team members for inspiring her to spread her wings into the film and television arena. She is the former Editor-in-Chief for Alwayz Therro Magazine, former reviewer for RT Book Review and still guest scribbles as her schedule permits for Blogcritics, Examiner, The New York Review of Books, and a sundry of periodicals. Ms. Morasco has a genuine fervor for animals, butter cream cupcakes, Supernatural, The Good Wife, Chicago Fire, Elementary, Castle, Major Crimes, Grimm, the beach, cinnamon gum, music, movies, shooting pool, hiking, Italy, HSN, QVC, and curling up near the ocean with a gripping novel !