Nickolas Ashford passed away on August 22, 2011. He had been suffering from throat cancer. He was 71 years old. An integral part of Motown, Ashford and his wife Valerie Simpson ran the gamut. From writing to backing vocals to solo endeavours, and most famously, as a duo, they were major players in the Barry Gordy network. Their songs were recorded by such diverse talents as The Shirelles, Ray Charles and Marvin Gaye. The song list is phenomenal, “Let’s Get Stoned”, “I Don’t Need No Doctor“, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and their own big hit “Solid“.
It always amazes me how true talent somehow hides in the background, surfacing from time to time in short bursts into the spotlight. Once the exposure fades, they move comfortably and easily into the background to once again write and produce, always creating, always sharing their talents. Nickolas Ashford was one of those people. His body of work supports this fact.
The video is a live version of “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”, performed by Ashford and Simpson. Rest in Peace.
- Nickolas Ashford of Motown duo Ashford and Simpson dies (cnn.com)
- Ain’t No Mountain’s High Enough songwriter Nickolas Ashford dies aged 70 (telegraph.co.uk)
- Songwriter Nickolas Ashford dies at age 70 (omg.yahoo.com)