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iOldies Music Store Home > Artist Biographies > Ashford & Simpson

Ashford & Simpson

A Solid partnership

Picture of A Solid partnership


Ashford & Simpson: The Early Years


The married couple Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson had a successful career in the music industry as a recording duo and songwriters. 

Both Ashford & Simpson were born in the 1940’s Ashford & Simpson had their first chart hit writing “Let’s go get stoned” for legendary artist Ray Charles in 1966. Throughout that era the duo wrote a string of records for icons such as: 


  1. Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell 

  2. Diana Ross

  3. Aretha Franklin 






Ashford & Simpson’s early work was released under Scepter Recorders but it was not until they signed with Berry Gordy that they became the talk of Motown .


Under Berry Gordy’s Motown Records Ashford & Simpson wrote some of the most famous songs associated with Motown. Their partnership with Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell produced the classics “Ain’t Nothing like the Real Thing” and You’re All I Need to get By"       



Ashford, Simpson & Ross



The track “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”  was not only a success for Gaye & Terrell in 1967 but also became an instant hit for Diana Ross 13 years after its original release. 


"Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” was Diana Ross’ first solo Billboard number one after leaving The Supremes, her 1970 version of the song was also nominated for a Grammy Award.




Ashford & Simpson: Album Sales


Aside from writing for other artists and acts, Ashford & Simpson had 4 gold selling albums that had great success on the US R&B and Billboard Chart. “Is It Still Good to Ya” was the highest charting album for Ashford & Simpson with mainstream audiences reaching number 20 on the Billboard Chart.


Ashford & Simpson Gold Selling albums:


  • 1977 “Send It” 

  • 1978  “Is It Still Good to Ya” 

  • 1979 Stay Free” 

  • 1984 “Solid” 



Ashford & Simpson where popular figures in the US R&B chart, there music hit a larger audience when their 1984 song “Solid” from the album with the same name made it to number 12 on the Billboard Charts and was best seller around the world.


Outside of the Pop Music World & Legacy


 Ashford & Simpson continued to have a hand in the popular scene writing for artists: 


  • Teddy Pendergrass “Is It Still Good to you” 

  • The Brothers Johnson “Ride-O-Rocket” 

  • Chaka Khan “I’m Every Woman” and “Clouds” 

  • Rufus “Keep It Comin’ and “Ain’t Nothin’ But a Maybe” 




Outside of the Pop Music World & Legacy

Away from touring and writing music, Ashford & Simpson opened “Sugar Bar” in New York a restaurant and live music venue in 1996.


Ashford & Simpson’s service to the popular music was honored in 2002 as they entered the Songwriter Hall of Fame.


UK singer Amy Winehouse credited Ashford & Simpson on her smash hit album “Back to Black”  for the track “Tears Dry on Their Own”, which sampled Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell’s “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”.


In 2009 Ashford & Simpson re-released Solid in tribute to President Elect Barack Obama titled "Solid as Barack".


Unfortunately, Nick Ashford died of throat cancer on August 22, 2011, leaving behind Valerie and their two daughters.






For more songs by Ashford & Simpson, search the iOldiesmusicstore jukebox 




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