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Help put Billie to rest

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We are seeking your support for the funeral expenses and care for the children of our beloved Billie Joy Atkins, II (aka Eddie Ray Johnson).
Billie was a beautiful and loving person, dedicated father and an extraordinary musician and band leader. His life and laughter instantly touched so many people and it is with heavy hearts that we lay Billie to rest.
As a father, his dedication to and love for his children was unquestionable. Family meals,
checking homework, outings and activities with his children were his absolute pleasures. He had such inspiring pride in his children, and we now have to pick up where he left off.
His career as a drummer spanned more than forty-one years culminating with co-founding the soul-funk band, The Groovalottos. Billie co-produced The Groovalottos' six time Grammy-nominated album, Ask Yo Mama. He was a gifted music teacher, sharing his love of music and giving drumsticks to any kids who showed an interest in drumming. He received the NAACP Unsung Hero Award in 2019 in recognition of his dedication to the arts and youth in the community through his work as President of Song Keepers, Ltd, a nonprofit arts and education organization. Countless numbers of musicians reflect the legacy of his artistry as his former students and mentees, including all members of The Groovalottos.
If you were in a bad mood, it wouldn't last long if you were in Billie's presence. His laughter and stories made every gig and tour a wonderful experience for his band mates and audiences. The sound of his laughter will live on in the memories of all who knew him. You could literally see the unbridled joy on his face whenever he played. His joy was infectious; and, heaven is blessed with a back-beat like it's never experienced before.
The suddenness of Bllie's death yesterday,June 25, 2020, has left us speechless and heartbroken, but we know we must look forward. We want to give Billie a home-going as beautiful as his soul and we want to help provide for the children he leaves with us. Your contribution to Atkins-Simons family is sincerely appreciated. Thank you..


  • Anonymous
    • $25 
    • 4 yrs


Sharon Cates
Buzzards Bay, MA

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