Motown Songwriter Ashford Dead At 70

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August 23, 2011 | 4:10am EST

Legendary songwriter Nickolas Ashford has passed away. He was 70.
Ashford, who along with wife Valerie Simpson wrote some of Motown’s biggest hits, died in a New York hospital on Monday after a battle with throat cancer.

Ashford & Simpson, the duo’s professional songwriting name, were behind classic soul songs including Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, Reach Out And Touch Somebody’s Hand and You’re All I Need To Get By, and were sung by the likes of Diana Ross and Marvin Gaye.

They also penned Chaka Khan’s anthem I’m Every Woman.

The pair also performed themselves, with their most famous track Solid hitting the charts in 1985.

Ashford is survived by Simpson and their two daughters.