August 23, 2011
legendary Motown songwriting duo Ashford & Simpson who penned elegant,
soulful classics for the likes of Diana Ross
and Marvin Gaye
and funk hits for Chaka Khan and
others, died Monday, his former publicist said. He was 70.Ashford, who
along with wife, Valerie Simpson, wrote some of Motown’s biggest hits, died in a
New York City hospital, said Liz Rosenberg, who was Ashford’s longtime friend.
He had been suffering from throat cancer and
had undergone radiation treatment, she told the Associated Press.
they had some of their greatest success at Motown with classics such as “Ain’t No Mountain High
Enough” and “Reach
Out And Touch Somebody’s Hand” by Ross and “You’re All I Need To Get
By” by Gaye and Tammi Terrell, Ashford & Simpson also created anthems
for others, like “I’m
Every Woman” by Khan (and later remade by Whitney
“They had magic, and that’s what creates those wonderful
hits, that magic,” Verdine White of Earth,
Wind and Fire said after learning of his friend’s death. “Without those
songs, those artists wouldn’t have been able to go to the next
Ashford & Simpson also had success writing for themselves:
Perhaps the best-known song they sang was the 1980s hit “Solid as a
Their relationship stretched more than four decades. They met in
1964 in a New York City church; Ashford, who was born in South Carolina in 1941,
had come to the city to pursue a dance career. Simpson was a music student, and
after connecting with her, they decided to start to write songs
“They were always comfortable with each other, and they made
all of us comfortable, because they were comfortable,” White said.
first major success occurred when they came up with “Let’s Go Get Stoned” for Ray Charles.
That song became a huge hit, and soon, they came to the attention of Motown
Records and began penning hits for the label’s artists. They started out
writing for Gaye and Terrell; in fact, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” was
originally their hit, until Ross later rerecorded it and made it her signature
“The thing is, they were married and working together, that was
what was special about them; everybody admired that,” White said.
duo, who were married for 38 years, helped sell millions of records for several
In recent years, the pair continued to perform. They also were
owners of the New York City restaurant Sugar Bar, where many top names and
emerging talents would put on showcases.
Ashford is survived by his wife
and two daughters.
using the number/letter grid:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
A B C D E F G H I
J K L M N O P Q R
S T U V W X Y Z
A = 1 J = 1 S = 1
B = 2 K = 2 T = 2
C = 3 L = 3 U = 3
D = 4 M = 4 V = 4
E = 5 N = 5 W = 5
F = 6 O = 6 X = 6
G = 7 P = 7 Y = 7
H = 8 Q = 8 Z = 8
I = 9 R = 9
59326311 1186694 65
his path of destiny = Worldly success. Making it big time.
May 4th, 1942
5 + 4 +2+0+1+1 = 13 = his personal year (from May 4th, 2011 to May 3rd, 2012) = Death.
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