Valerie Simpson and her friends gathered to honor Nick Ashford’s memory. The balmy night and the threat of rain could not stop the diehard fans from filling every seat in the house. This funkadelic duo were known for such classic hits as “Solid” and “Come As You Are”, many forget that they wrote some of the biggest hits of their day. We were treated to these songs from Marvin Gaye’s classic (“Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing”), Diana Ross (“Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, "Remember Me") and Chaka Khan’s ( “I’m Every Woman”). One stand out song was “Dirty Diana” by Kimberly Nichole, Alyson Willams sang "Sister" as a duet with Val (thankks Amy Cruzweski for the correction).
Valerie is much loved by her friends, as fans, with many making special appearances such as Will Garrison, Andre Henry and Ron Grant who performed a duet with Valerie. Valerie even gave a shout out to Whitney Houston who would have had her 49th birthday the day before
Damrosch Park has excellent sound, seating, staging, and lighting and Lincoln Center’s “Out of Doors” summer festival is one of the city’s best free events. The giant photos of Nick in his funky outfits and million dollar smile delighted the fans, but tender pictures of Valerie and Nick from their early days, really moved the audience and brought back some very fond memories. The music world has truly lost a legend and this was a great tribute.
Thank you Valerie and all your very talented friends from the club Nick and you own on West 72nd Street, Sugar Bar, for sharing this special moment with us.