Black Love: Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson
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Legendary songwriters Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson shared a love and passion for music and for one another.

In memory of Nick, who passed away this morning at age 70, we’re paying tribute to the love between Ashford and Simpson.

South Carolina native Nick met Bronx girl Valerie at a Harlem church in 1963. It was love at first sight and the pair formed a group and began pursuing their musical dreams together.

Both songwriters and singers, Ashford and Simpson eventually joined Motown and penned a long line of hits including “I’m Every Woman,” “Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing” and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.” After parting ways with Motown in 1973, the pair headed to the altar, making their love official, and went on to record their biggest solo hit, “Solid” – a word that best describes the bond Ashford and Simpson shared.

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Take a look back at their marriage in photos.

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