Legendary songwriter Nick Ashford - who penned some of music's best known rock and soul classics with his wife - has died.
The 70-year-old Motown giant died in a New York City hospital, his publicist Liz Rosenberg said today.
He had been suffering from throat cancer and had undergone radiation treatment.
Ashford was one-half of the songwriting duo Ashford & Simpson who helped sell millions of records for some of the world's biggest artists.
His wife Valerie Simpson was his co-writer.
The pair, married for 38 years, crafted hits for the likes of Diana Ross and Marvin Gaye and funk hits for Chaka Khan.
Among their songs were X-Factor favourite 'Ain't No Mountain High Enough' and Ross's 'Reach Out And Touch Somebody's Hand'
The husband and wife team also wrote 'I'm Every Woman' by Khan, which was later covered by Whitney Houston, and 'You're All I Need To Get By' by Gaye and Tammi Terrell.
Ashford & Simpson also scored chart hits of their own, including the 1980s anthem 'Solid As A Rock'.
Tributes have flooded in as the music industry mourns the loss of Ashford.
Earth, Wind and Fire's Verdine White said: 'His music is unmatched in terms of great songwriting.
'They had magic and that's what creates those wonderful hits