South Carolina native Nick Ashford, of the legendary Motown songwriting duo Ashford & Simpson died of throat cancer at a hospital in New York City on Monday He was 70.

Ashford and his wife Valerie Simpson, whom he met after traveling to New York City to become a dancer, wrote Motown classics “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and “Reach Out and Touch Somebody’s Hand” recorded by Diana Ross; “You’re All I Need To Get By” recorded by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell; and “I’m Every Woman” made famous by Chaka Khan, and again by Whitney Houston.

They also gained popularity for themselves with their hit single “Solid (As A Rock).”

The couple’s first major success occurred when they came up with “Let’s Go Get Stoned” for Ray Charles which garnered them the attention of heavy-hitting record label Motown. From then, they began penning lyrics for other artists such as “Didn’t You Know You’d Have to Cry Sometime” for Gladys Knight and the Pips, and “Who’s Gonna Take the Blame” by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles.

The couple, who had been married since 1974, was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2002. They recorded eight albums for Warner Bros., including four that went gold, five with Capitol and two independently. Their last album, 1996’s “Been Found” was a collaboration with poet Maya Angelou.

On Tuesday, friends, colleagues and supporters of the songwriting duo piled into the Sugar Bar, a restaurant and live entertainment venue founded by Ashford and his wife in 1996, to celebrate Blues night and the life of a legend.

Ashford is survived by his wife and musical partner and daughters Nicole and Asia.