Nick Ashford

Nick Ashford, the Motown hitmaker who penned such classics as "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" and "You're All I Need to Get By" with wife Valerie Simpson, has died. He was 70.

Ashford, who had battled throat cancer, died Monday at a New York hospital with his family by his side, his rep told Reuters.

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A South Carolina native, Ashford met Simpson in a Harlem church in 1963 and the two decided to write songs together. Three years later, they scored their breakthrough when Ray Charles recorded their composition "Let's Go Get Stoned."

Ashford and Simpson, who married in 1974, were quickly signed to Motown Records and wrote a string of hits for, among others, Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell — the latter two who dueted on "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," "Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing," "You're All I Need to Get By" and "Your Precious Love."

Watch videos of Ashford and Simpson

Other compositions include "Send It," "Found a Cure," "Don't Cost You Nothing," "Reach Out and Touch (Somebody's Hand)," "I'm Every Woman" and "Solid," which Ashford and Simpson recorded themselves.

The pair was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2002.

Besides Simpson, Ashford is survived by their daughters Nicole and Asia.