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“Nick Ashford Passed Away Yesterday”

72

August 23, 2011 by The ReadyWriter


The Motown legend had been undergoing radiation treatments for throat cancer, he was 69.

Ashford and Simpson wrote Motown’s two favorite “Ain’t” songs, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and “Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing,” along with “You’re All I Need To Get By.”

The couple also had a long singing career, scoring their biggest chart hit in 1984 with “Solid (As a Rock)” and later settling into a long run at clubs and cabarets. The couple also owned several restaurants and clubs, including the 20/20 on W. 20th St. and the Sugar Bar on W. 72nd St.

Ashford, a tall pretty dark man whose signature hair was long and well done, was known as a gentle presence in the music business and rumored to be gay. Besides songwriting, they also produced most of Diana Ross’s first three solo albums and worked with artists that included Teddy Pendergrass, Gladys Knight, Smokey Robinson and Chaka Khan.

Ashford also had a few acting roles, and I remember him best as Rev. Oates in “New Jack City.”

Ashford is survived by his wife Valerie and their two daughters.

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72 thoughts on ““Nick Ashford Passed Away Yesterday”

  1. BrownGirl says:

    RIP Nick.
    Solid…..solid as a rock!

    Like

  2. BrownGirl says:

    Morning ceo fam. Trace thanks for a morning post Boo. 🙂

    Like

  3. Acquitta says:

    You filled the world with beautiful music Nick.
    RIP..

    Like

  4. SueWee says:

    Two of my kids were conceived to your music!
    R.I.P. Nick Ashford!

    Like

  5. Mahogany says:

    Rest in Peace, Nick ♥

    Like

  6. Gia says:

    Always was a fan of their writing style and I recognized a sad song written by them in AMy Winehouse’s albm Black to Black. So much soul and depth to what they had to say. It moved me. My prayers are with him and his wife & family.

    Like

  7. Mrs. Hawthorne says:

    R.I.P Nick Ashford. You and Val are R&B legends

    Like

  8. Adriane says:

    I am saddened by this loss to the music world; my deepest and sincerest condolences to Val & their daughters. And blog queen did not have to mention that he was rumored to be gay 😦

    Like

  9. Wanda says:

    RIP Nick…He and Valerie seemed so down to earth. Saw them in the city all the time.

    Like

  10. Anthony says:

    R.I.P.

    Like

  11. Zenna says:

    we love you nick ashford.
    R.I.P.

    Like

  12. Shawnia says:

    My condolences to Ms Valerie and her family, you never saw one without the other.

    They always represented Black love to me.

    Like

    • Starr says:

      RIP Nick.
      @Shawnia, Yes these two had real love. When they performed neither tried to out do the other. They respected their martimony. God Bless the Simpson-Ashford family.

      Like

  13. Mahogany says:

    RIP, NICK ANY FORM OF CANCER IS HARD TO BARE 😦

    Like

  14. Gabriella says:

    Rest in Peace Mr. Ashford – the music industry has lost a major talent and a legend. Condolences to his wife and family.

    Like

  15. Tabatha says:

    RIP Nick Ashford you are a legend!

    Like

  16. Starr says:

    One half of music’s power couples gone. I love their music. Rest in Paradise Nick. My prayers goes out to Valerie, their kids and their families.

    Like

  17. Jamilla says:

    I loved seeing them together. I remember my parents always playing a song of theirs when I was a little girl. As someone already commented, theirs was a TRUE depiction of beautiful black love. How sweet it must have been to write some of the most legendary love songs with a life partner. Rest in Peace good man, and may your wife and family be comforted by phenomenal memories of your wonderful legacy.

    Like

  18. Spice_Girl says:

    This is terrible news. Another musical legend gone. . .*wipes away tear*

    Like

  19. Nicole says:

    Like the sweet morning dew, I took one look at you,And it was plain to see you were my destiny.With my arms open wide, I threw away my pride.I’ll sacrifice for you dedicate my life for you.I will go where you lead always there in time of need.And when I lose my will you’ll be there to push me up the hill.There’s no, no looking back for us, we got love sure ‘nough, that’s enough.You’re all, you’re all I need to get by.

    R.I.P. Mr. Ashford. You will be missed.

    Like

  20. RandomChick says:

    RIP, Ashford 😦

    Like

  21. Angelhair says:

    solid as a rick 4ever. may he rip.

    Like

  22. Ionna says:

    Some of the greatest in music are dying off, but I’m glad their music lives on. RIP Nick.

    Like

  23. FloridaGurl says:

    I am terribly sad to hear this news. I saw them in Florida a few years ago and they were awesome. May he rest in peace!!!

    Like

  24. UncleEd says:

    R.I.P. Nick.

    Like

  25. EbonyEyes says:

    R.I.P…TRUE LEGEND…END OF AN ERA

    Like

  26. DaisyDukes says:

    I was so sorry to hear of Nick Ashfords passing….some of the best music ever made came from this couple…he will be missed….my thoughts and prayers go out to Valerie and their daughters….RIP…

    Like

  27. 2Thick4U says:

    May his soul R.I.Paradise

    Like

  28. Pointman says:

    Old school superstars.
    RIP brother!!! Wow! RIP!!!!

    Like

  29. SlickRick says:

    OMG what a legend!
    May he R.I.P.

    Like

  30. Cameo1 says:

    My Deepest Sympathy to his beloved widow and children. May The Lord give you all the strength to go on.
    REST IN PEACE,NICK ASHFORD you were truly an entertainer for all time.

    Like

  31. Ashanti says:

    Rest in peace.

    Like

  32. Omar Nance says:

    r.i.p. NICK

    Like

  33. HarlemGirl says:

    So sad R.I.P New York loves you.

    Like

  34. G says:

    I LOVE Ashford and Simpson!!! RIP Nick and my condolences to his wife. Now with that out of the way…..
    If I was married to a rumored gay man and I decided to stay there would have to be some ground rules and one would be that you could not look better than me and your hair could not be whipped better than mine!! That is one thing that would always make me laugh about them….he would be put together right down to the fake contacts and sometimes she looked like it was all she could do to get out tof bed. Google pictures of them…I aint lying. I am sorry but that would be rule #1.

    Like

    • CorporateBitch says:

      🙂

      LMAO @ you “G” -> he was reportedly bisexual

      Like

      • Ionna says:

        he would be put together right down to the fake contacts and sometimes she looked like it was all she could do to get out tof bed. Google pictures of them
        —————————–
        You ain’t NEVA lied!!! he was a well put 2gether homo right down to the “T” may God Rest his soul though.

        Like

      • Adam says:

        If I was married to a rumored gay man and I decided to stay there would have to be some ground rules and one would be that you could not look better than me and your hair could not be whipped better than mine!! That is one thing that would always make me laugh about them….he would be put together right down to the fake contacts and sometimes she looked like it was all she could do to get out tof bed. Google pictures of them…I aint lying. I am sorry but that would be rule #1.
        _____________________

        LOL you went hard homey

        Like

  35. Nicole says:

    Ashford and Simpson, who were married 37 years, have two daughters, Nicole, 35, and Asia, 23. In an interview with SFGate.com, Ashford and Simpson explained the keys to a successful marriage.

    “I think the key to our case is the eight years we weren’t married,” Simpson says. “That defined our roles. We can always go back to that place mentally – get past the husband-wife stuff and go to ‘songwriter,’ ” said Simpson.

    “You’ve got to keep talking,” added her husband.

    “And lots of laughs,” she says. “You’ve got to keep laughing.”

    “And have as much sex as possible,” said Nick.

    “Even if you have to schedule it,” said Simpson.

    Nick Ashford spent several months in the 1960s homeless and sleeping on park benches. To remind others of his long, arduous journey to the top, Valerie Simpson bought a bench in midtown’s Bryant Park and inscribed the plaque, “Nick Ashford Slept Here.”

    R.I.P. Nick

    Like

  36. Gia says:

    RIP TO A TRUE LEGEND!!!

    Like

  37. Ms. Kayla says:

    I was heartbroken to hear about the death of one of my all-time favorite song writers and artist, Nick Ashford. It’s hard to believe he was 70. He never seemed to age one bit. I’ve been listening to this duo since I was young. I loved this couple. I’ve always been struck by their beautiful relationship . I can’t imagine the loss she is experiencing.

    RIP, Nick, and God bless Valerie, their two girls, other family and friends. He (they) are truly legends

    Like

  38. Lexy says:

    i loved this dude i tell u BLACK DONT CRACK 70!!!

    and for love’s sake
    each mistake
    aww u forgave!!!!!

    Like

  39. Felicia says:

    😦 R.I.P. Nick Ashford

    Like

  40. Lisa says:

    This is really sad. Ashford & his wife did a lot of writing on Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black album. Great loss for music lovers.

    Like

  41. SoldierOne says:

    R.I.P. Nick Ashford

    Like

  42. AngelHair says:

    No lie there was an earthquake in VA people.

    Like

  43. QueenC says:

    It’s sad about Nick Ashford. May he RIP

    Like

  44. RandomChick says:

    R.I.P. 😦 Sad

    Like

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