NEW YORK — Nick Ashford, one-half of the legendary Motown songwriting duo Ashford & Simpson that penned elegant, soulful classics for the likes of Diana Ross and Marvin Gaye and funk hits for Chaka Khan and others, died Monday at age 70, his former publicist said.
Liz Rosenberg, who also was Ashford’s longtime friend, told The Associated Press that Ashford — who along with wife Valerie Simpson wrote some of Motown’s biggest hits — died in a New York City hospital. He had been suffering from throat cancer and had undergone radiation treatment.
(Evan Agostini, File/Associated Press) – FILE – In this Oct. 29, 2007 file photo, Singers Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson attend the 2007 G&P Foundation 10th Annual Angel Ball in New York. Ashford’s longtime friend and former publicist told The Associated Press that Ashford died Monday, Aug. 22, 2011 in a New York City hospital. He had been suffering from throat cancer and had undergone radiation treatment.
They also had success writing for themselves: Perhaps the biggest known hit sung by them was the 1980s hit “Solid As A Rock.”
Ashford is survived by his wife and two daughters.