Teaming with husband Nickolas Ashford
, Valerie Simpson
co-wrote numerous soul hits before the pair began a fabulously successful performing career of their own in the early '70s. Ashford & Simpson
wrote for the likes of Chuck Jackson
and Ray Charles
before joining the production staff at Motown and creating hits for many of the company's top acts, notably Marvin Gaye
and Tammi Terrell
. They tallied their own first soul hit in 1973 for Warner, racking up a solid string of smashes that include "Don't Cost You Nothing" (1978), "Found a Cure" (1979), "Street Corner" (1982), and "Solid," the duo's first R&B chart-topper in 1984.