Nick Ashford Songwriter Nick Ashford of the duo Ashford & Simpson died of throat cancer at the age of 70.
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Nick Ashford

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Nick Ashford

REBECCA ROBERTS, host: Finally today, we want to remember our R&B songwriter Nick Ashford of the duo Ashford & Simpson. Ashford died yesterday of throat cancer at the age of 70. With his wife Valerie Simpson, Ashford wrote his, like "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" for Dianna Ross and "You're All I Need To Get By" for Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell.

While at Motown, they also wrote hits for Smokey Robinson & The Miracles and Gladys Knight & the Pips. After they left Motown, they continued to write hits for other people, including "I'm Every Woman" by Chaka Khan. Ashford & Simpson were working artists in their own right, and their song "Solid" was the number hit on the R&B charts in 1984.

We leave you with another hit recorded by Ashford & Simpson in 1977, "Don't Cost You Nothin'."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "DON'T COST YOU NOTHIN'")

ASHFORD & SIMPSON: Don't cost you nothing. Don't cost you nothing. Think, think about the way of rejection. You're not the only one reaching for perfection. Think, think about the reason that you exist. I got something you might not wanna miss. Don't cost you nothing. Don't cost you nothing. No. Yeah, yeah. You just think, think about your point of view. You don't have to get involved. No one's forcing you. Hey, stop, stop and listen to the voice. Good God alive, ha, you always got a choice. Don't cost you nothing. Take a chance as you go. Don't cost you nothing. If you like it, you come back for more. Don't cost you nothing. Take a chance as you go. Don't cost you nothing. If you like it, you come back for more.

I ain't selling myself to you, baby, the way that others often do. People, you may call me crazy. They determine what I offer you. It don't cost you nothing. Don't cost you nothing. Take a chance as you go. Don't cost you nothing. If you like it, you come back for more. I ain't selling myself to you, baby, the way that others often do. People, you know call me crazy. They determine what I offer you. It don't, it don't, it don't cost you, it don't, it don't, it don't cost you nothing.

Don't cost you nothing. Take a chance as you go. Don't cost you nothing. If you like it, you come back for more. Don't cost you nothing. Take a chance as you go. Don't cost you nothing. If you like it, you come back for more. Don't cost you nothing. Nothing. Hey, it's free. No. No, don't cost you nothing. No, no. Don't cost you nothing, nothing. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. Hey, no, no, nothing. Don't cost you nothing. No. No, no. Hey. No, no. Hey, hey. No, don't cost you nothing. Take a chance as you go. Don't cost you nothing. If you like it, you come back for more. Don't cost you nothing. Take a chance as you go. Don't cost you nothing. If you like it, you come back for more. Don't cost you nothing. Take a chance as you go. Don't cost you nothing. Hey, hey, yeah, yeah.

If you like it, you come back for more. Don't cost you nothing. You come back. Nothing. You come back. Nothing. Hey, hey. It's true, don't cost you nothing. Take a chance as you go. Don't cost you nothing. If you like it, you come back for more. Oh, baby, come on back. It's free. Come on back. No, not with me. Come on back. Come on, baby.

ROBERTS: "Don't Cost You Nothin'," written and performed by the Valerie Simpson and the late Nick Ashford. This is TALK OF THE NATION from NPR News. I'm Rebecca Roberts.

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