The death of Nick Ashford on Monday has Hollywood remembering the musical contributions of one-half of Motown’s Ashford & Simpson songwriting team.
The creative force behind “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “Reach Out and Touch Somebody’s Hand” and “I’m Every Woman” wrote hits for Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell and Chaka Khan in the ’60s and ’70s, along with wife Valerie Simpson, before finding fame as performers with songs like “Solid.”
Many celebrities took to Twitter to express their condolences. “I’m so sad that he’s gone…..So many of the greatest are going to a greater place….what a legacy of infectious music… man!” Alicia Keys tweeted.
Lenny Kravitz wrote, “Left rehearsal. Heard Nick Ashford passed. A legend. My heart goes out to Valerie. My Lord, ain’t no mountain high enough. Solid as a rock.”
“R.I.P Nick Ashford one of the most Soulful & Amazing Singer/Songwriters Timeless Classic Music,” Ashanti wrote on the social-networking site. “Many Prayers & Blessings to his Family.”
Russell Simmons commented on Ashford’s legacy, tweeting, “R.I.P. Nick Ashford has left his body Most cannot see his everlasting spirit, but the eyes behind the eyes remain w/us.”
MC Hammer’s tweet mirrored Simmons': “Nick Ashford (RIP) your songs and melodies touched millions of lives and will never fade. We #Salute your Life.”
Ashford & Simpson contemporaries Earth, Wind & Fire kept their tweet simple: “REST IN PEACE TO A TRUE LEGEND: NICK ASHFORD.”
The weight of the performer’s loss stretched outside the music community, with Hollywood heavyweights also expressing their feelings on his passing. “Sad Morning.We lost another Giant yesterday,The Great NICK ASHFORD.Nick,along with his Wife Valerie Simpson wrote amazing Songs,” Spike Lee wrote.
Ashford died in New York City at age 70 of throat cancer. He leaves behind his wife and musical partner, Valerie Simpson, and two daughters, Nicole and Asia.
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