Share this news

A man who contributed backing vocals to You Gotta Love Someone and Easier to Walk Away has died.


Hillard ”Sweet Pea” Atkinson was 74, and suffered a heart attack.
The singer once worked in a Detroit auto plant, but he spent his weekends singing in a local R&B group called Hi Energy. Don Was heard him singing in a rehearsal studio and invited him to join his group, Was (Not Was).
Years later, Atkinson, Elton, George Harrison, Stevie Ray Vaughan and David Cosby were among those invited to appear on Bob Dylan‘s album, Under The Red Sky, produced by Don.
Atkinson, who released two solo albums (Don’t Walk Away in 1982 and Get What You Deserve in 2017) is survived by three adult children, grandchildren, and a sister.