In a period of just a few hours back on August 22, the world lost two of its premier songwriters, Jerry Leiber and Nickolas Ashford. The two greats will be saluted next Wednesday night (November 30) during The GRAMMY Nominations Concert Live!! — Countdown To Music"s Biggest Night®.
Usher will lead the tribute and will be joined by both songwriter"s musical partners, Mike Stoller and Valerie Simpson (who was also married to Ashford).
The catalogs from the two writing teams could fill multiple books. Leiber and Stoller"s songs include Jailhouse Rock, Yakety Yak, Stand By Me, Love Potion No. 9, Hound Dog, On Broadway, Chapel of Love and many, many more. Ashford and Simpson are responsible for the likes of Ain"t No Mountain High Enough, Reach Out and Touch (Somebody"s Hand), You"re All I Need to Get By, I"m Every Woman and Solid as a Rock.
Ken Erlich, producer of both the nominations special and the awards show, told the AP "I knew both Jerry Leiber and Nick very well, It was pretty rough for me in August when they both passed away. We lost two of the greatest songwriters of the formative rock and R&B era."
Also performing on the special are Lady Gaga, Jason Aldean, Ludacris, Lupe Fiasco, Rihanna, Sugarland and the Band Perry. LL Cool J will host.