Paul Atkinson dies at 58

SANTA MONICA, Calif., April 2 (UPI) -- Paul Atkinson, a rock-and-roll pioneer and influential music industry executive, died Thursday at the UCLA Santa Monica Medical Center.

He was 58.

Atkinson, who died of liver and kidney disease, started as a guitarist for The Zombies, one of the first and most original of the British Invasion bands of the 1960s.

Atkinson made the rare transition from artist to executive. He signed ABBA, Bruce Hornsby, Mr. Mister, Michael Penn, Judas Priest and Patty Smyth.

Born in Cuffley, England, Atkinson lived in Los Angeles for the past 20 years. He is survived by his wife Helen, their two children, James and Lucy, and son Matt by a previous marriage.

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