Valerie Simpson, born in The Bronx, New York, along with her husband, Nickolas Ashford were a songwriting, recording and production team. Together with former member of the Ikettes (Ike and Tina Turner's backup singing group) , Josie Jo Armstead , they wrote "Never Had It So Good"recorded by Ronnie Milsap, Maxine Brown's "One Step At A Time," as well as songs by the Shirelles and Chuck Jackson.
Another of the trio's songs "Let's Go Get Stoned" gave Ray Charles a number one U.S. R&B hit in 1966. Also in 1966, Ashford & Simpson joined Motown and went on to successful winging careers. Their best-known songs include "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)," Their best-known song is "Solid" released in the U.S. in 1984.
Ashford & Simpson were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2002.
Nickolas Ashford died on August 22, 2011.
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