Nick Ashford Of Ashford & Simpson Dies Of Throat Cancer

( — Nick Ashford, one-half of the legendary Motown songwriting duo Ashford & Simpson that penned elegant, soulful classics for the likes of Diana Ross and Marvin Gaye and funk hits for Chaka Khan and others, died Monday at age 70.

Ashford, who along with wife Valerie Simpson wrote some of Motown’s biggest hits, died in a New York City hospital, said publicist Liz Rosenberg, who was Ashford’s longtime friend. He had been suffering from throat cancer and had undergone radiation treatment.

The duo, married for 38 years, helped sell millions of records for several artists. They also had success as their own entity, but despite “Solid As a Rock,” their songs were dwarfed by those they penned for others. They continued to craft hits even into the new millennium: They are credited as co-writers on Amy Winehouse’s “Tears Dry On Their Own.” The couple also owned the Sugar Bar restaurant in New York City.

Mourned By The Music Industry

Verdine White of Earth, Wind and Fire said:

“They had magic and that’s what creates those wonderful hits, that magic. Without those songs, those artists wouldn’t have been able to go to the next level.

“They were always comfortable with each other and they made all of us comfortable, because they were comfortable. The thing is, they were married and working together, that was what was special about them; everybody admired that.

Alicia Keys tweeted:

“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!”

African American Men Are At The Highest Risk For Throat & Oral Cancers—But Many Don’t Know It.

Most cases of oral cancer are linked to cigarette smoking, heavy alcohol use, or the use of both tobacco and alcohol together. In fact, using tobacco plus alcohol poses a much greater risk than using either substance alone. Certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV) may also play a part in oral cancer. The risk of oral cancer increases with age. Most oral cancers occur after age 40.

For more information on the fourth most common cancer in black men read: Black Men At Highest Risk For Oral Cancer