According to their MySpace page, Ashford and Simpson met in 1964 in New York City. Within two years, as songwriters with Scepter Songwriters, they scored their first hit with Ray Charles' "Let's Go Get Stoned."
The couple then joined Motown Records, where they wrote a host of popular songs for the likes of Marvin Gaye, Tammi Terrell and Diana Ross including "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," "Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing" and "Reach Out and Touch (Somebody's Hand)." Later in their careers, their songwriting credits included Chaka Khan's "I'm Every Woman."
In the '70s, Ashford and Simpson went from songwriters to performers, releasing nine albums for Motown, Warner Brothers Records (like CNN, a division of Time Warner) and Capitol Records between 1973 and 1984. Their biggest hit during that time was the song "Solid (As a Rock)."
On stage, Ashford typically sported long curly hair, a goatee and a knack for hitting high notes.
In 1996, he established the Sugar Bar, a restaurant and live entertainment venue in Manhattan's Upper West Side. According to its website, the bar showcases soul, jazz, Caribbean, African and other types of music and has been visited by numerous guests over the years such as Bruce Willis, Stevie Wonder, Maya Angelou and others.
The Songwriters Hall of Fame inducted Ashford and his wife in 2002, calling them "one of the most prolific and versatile musical couples in recording history."