Valerie Simpson: "I Had The Greatest Guy In The World"
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Valerie Simpson, one half of the hit singing duo Ashford & Simpson, wrote some of the greatest love songs of all time with her husband and writing partner, Nick Ashford. They wrote and performed their hits “Solid” and “Found A Cure.” As well as a ton of hits for other Motown artists such as “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”, “You’re All I Need To Get By”, “Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing”, and “Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand)”. Ashford & Simpson also wrote and produced almost all the songs on three 1970s albums for former Supreme Diana Ross.
But when Nick died of throat cancer in August 2011 at the age of 70, Simpson lost a friend, lover and partner. How did she cope?
After spending more than four decades together, during which time they turned out Motown classics like Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing, Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, and Solid As A Rock. she didn’t know if she would ever get back onstage.
When asked about how she copes, especially on the anniversary of his death (which coincides with her birthday), the award-winning writer and performer says: “It’s just one step at a time. There’s no getting around it. Some days are better than other days. I have a great network of family and friends who lift me up when I just want to go lay down. It’s something I didn’t expect – to be in this position. Nothing prepares you for it. It’s a hard thing to go through.”
On Life Immediately After Death:
“It’s like being a kid again. I had the greatest guy in the world. It was a partnership. The work and the love came from one place. It’s a bit of a fog right now. I just hope he will whisper in my ear and clue me in because I have no idea. It’s not a path I ever imagined myself on. It’s all brand new.”
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On Performing Again:
“Before Nick passed, we had some dates scheduled. The promoters have asked me to do those shows on my own. I don’t…