Pantera drummer, founding member Vinnie Paul dead at 54

Legendary drummer Vinnie Paul, co-founder of heavy metal band Pantera, has died.

"Vincent Paul Abbott aka Vinnie Paul has passed away", the band's Facebook page announced late Friday night.

Since 2006, Paul was the drummer for Hellyeah, a heavy metal supergroup that also includes Mudvayne vocalist Chad Gray and Nothingface guitarist Tom Maxwell.

'No further details are available at this time.

Paul formed Pantera in 1981 with his brother, "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, and went on to earn four Grammy nominations and a No 1 album in the U.S. in 1994.


Pantera found mainstream success after their major label release of 1990's "Cowboys From Hell", following a shake-up of the band's line-up, recruiting lead singer Phil Anselmo in 1987.

Think your friends would be interested? "The family requests you please respect their privacy during this time", the statement said. The following year, Vinnie Paul's brother, Dimebag Darrell was tragically murdered on stage during a concert in Columbus, Ohio. Among those mourning Paul Saturday morning is Megadeth's Dave Mustaine.

Bass player for heavy metal giants Black Sabbath, Geezer Butler reminisced about his time touring with Abbott, calling him a "true original". A truly good & fun friend. May both brothers rest in peace. We always knew where each other was going, especially musically. "Devastated to hear the news of the passing of the great Vinnie Paul (sic.)", he wrote.

According to Billboard, Vinnie Paul and Dimebag Darrell co-founded the band Damageplan in 2003 after Pantera split.

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