Vinnie Paul, Pantera Drummer, Dimebag Darrell's Brother, Dead At 54

Nigel Payne

Legendary drummer Vinnie Paul, co-founder of heavy metal band Pantera, has died. He was a member of supergroup Hellyeah before passing away at age 54.

Vincent Paul Abbott's cause of death is currently unknown, a representative confirmed his passing to Billboard and no further details have been presented at this time.

Paul, alongside his brother Dimebag Darrell, formed the iconic heavy metal band Pantera in the '80s. The original frontman, Terry Glaze, was replaced with Phil Anselmo and the band went on to have mainstream success with their fifth album, CowboysFrom Hell.

"Vincent Paul Abbott aka Vinnie Paul has passed away," reads a short statement on the Pantera official Facebook page. "Paul is best known for his work as the drummer in the bands Pantera and Hellyeah. No further details are available at this time. The family requests you please respect their privacy during this time."

Pantera has sold more than 60 million albums and influenced several bands, including Korn and Slipknot. The Groove metal band earned four Grammy nominations and had nine albums chart on the Billboard 200, including Far Beyond Driven, which debuted at No. 1 on the chart, and top 5 albums The Great SouthernTrendkill and Reinventing the Steel.

Vinnie Paul and Dimebag Darrell formed Damageplan in 2003. The following year, Vinnie Paul's brother, Dimebag Darrell was tragically murdered on stage during a concert in Columbus, Ohio. Abbott was shot in the head multiple times by a deranged fan.

Fans and fellow musicians have left tributes for Pantera co-founder Vinnie Paul. Papa Roach describes the 54-year-old as the "nicest guy in metal" in a tweet.

The band was reportedly working on an album when Paul passed away. The Texan drummer credited Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Kiss, and Van Halen as influences in interviews about his music.