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Legendary singer, songwriter and producer Nick Ashford, the husband and songwriting partner of Valerie Simpson, has died at age 70 in New York City on Monday, August 22, 2011.

According to The New York Times, Ashford had been undergoing treatment for throat cancer — the exact cause of death is unknown. Ashford and Simpson were the powerhouse duo who created some of Motown’s biggest hits including “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “Your All I Need to Get By,” and “Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing.”

Aside from writing those classics originally performed by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, Ashford and Simpson also wrote for Diana Ross (“Reach Out and Touch” and “The Boss”), Gladys Knight & The Pips (“Taste of Bitter Love”) and Chaka Khan (“I’m Every Woman”) to name a few of their unforgettable hits.

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