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Nick Ashford From Ashford & Simpson Dies at 69

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Aug. 23 2011, Published 1:57 p.m. ET

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It's a sad day for Motown fans as Nick Ashford, half of the songwriting and performing duo Ashford & Simpson, has died. The 69 year-old was suffering from throat cancer and died in a NYC hospital.

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According to USA Today, Nick and his wife of 37 years Valerie Simpson, wrote hit after hit such as "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," "Reach Out and Touch Somebody's Hand" and "Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing."

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They were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2002 and recorded a total of eight albums for Warner Brothers, five with Capitol and two on independent labels. Four of their albums went gold! Their last album, Been Found, was recorded in 1996 and collaborated with Maya Angelou.

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As if that wasn't impressive enough, Ashford and Simpson wrote Chaka Khan's hit, "I'm Every Woman" and several solo hits for Diana Ross such as "Reach Out and Touch (Somebody's Hand" and Ray Charles' smash hit, "Let's Go Get Stoned."

Nick leaves behind his wife and two children. May he rest in peace.

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