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.
Rest in peace, Vinnie. Our prayers and good wishes go to his family, friends and fans. https://t.co/iXQ4Hum9lT— Gene Simmons (@genesimmons) June 23, 2018
Vinnie Paul has spoken at length about his relationship with his influential brother. In an interview published by Loader Sound, the late Vinnie Paul spoke about their musical bond.
“We had the greatest chemistry in the world. We always knew where each other was going, especially musically. Loads of kids when they’re growing up get a lot of pressure from their parents about getting good grades and stuff. We worked together and never felt that competition that other kids do.”
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.
Absolutely stunned to hear the unbelievable news that Vinnie Paul @Pantera has died... I knew Vinnie well. Did my shows many times. A great drummer and music fan and always a blast to hang with. Beyond tragic. Can’t believe it. #RIPVinniePaul .— Eddie Trunk (@EddieTrunk) June 23, 2018
R.I.P. Vinnie Paul. Such a sad day. He was one of my main drumming influences. He was too young to pass on in life.... I hope he's already jamming up a storm with Dime. Thoughts and prayers go out to his family and loved ones. pic.twitter.com/Y03FZSa1L7— Ryan Van Poederooyen (@rvanpoederooyen) June 23, 2018
Rest In Peace Vinnie Paul. Heaven has Dimebag and Vinnie now ????????#RIPVINNIEPAUL— Travis Barker (@travisbarker) June 23, 2018
Vinnie Paul recently returned to playing with supergroup Hellyeah, which consists of Mudvayne vocalist Chad Gray, former Nothingface guitarist Tom Maxwell, guitarist Horace Drondo and bassist Kyle Sanders.
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.