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Nick Ashford dies at age 70

HollywoodNews.com: I’d like to say I am shocked at the news of Nick Ashford‘s death, but he didn’t appear at the Songwriters Hall of Fame dinner this past June. His wife and songwriting partner, Valerie Simpson, was there. They were never ever apart. They were really inseparable. Someone who knew them said to me, “Something is wrong.” It seems that Nick had throat cancer, which no one knew. This is a terrible blow for Valerie and their two daughters, for their trusted aide de camp Tee Austen, and everyone who loves Ashford and Simpson.

Nick was a tall drink of water with a beautiful, sunny disposition. He was one of the most elegant and thoughtful people I’ve ever met in the music business. He and Valerie — like Leiber and Stoller, King and Goffin, Mann and Weil, Neils Diamond and Sedaka, Ellie Greenwich, Smokey Robinson, Isaac Hayes and David Porter, Bacharach and David, Lennon and McCartney–they wrote the pop songbook by which we now live.For many years now their Sugar Bar on West 72nd St. has been a haven for up and coming singers and performers.

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