Vinnie Paul, Legendary Metal Band Drummer, Dead at 54

Vinnie Paul — legendary metal drummer who played in bands Pantera, Damageplan and HELLYEAH — has died at the age 54

Vinnie Paul — the legendary drummer who played in metal bands Pantera, Damageplan and HELLYEAH — has died at the age 54.

The Texas native’s death was confirmed early Saturday in a statement on Pantera’s social media pages.

“No further details are available at this time,” the statement read. “The family requests you please respect their privacy during this time.”

The musician, born Vincent Paul Abbott, co-founded Pantera in 1981 with his brother, Dimebag Darrell — who was shot and killed onstage in Columbus, Ohio, while the two were performing in December 2004.

Their father was country songwriter and producer Jerry Abbott.

Many of rock’s biggest stars like Alice Cooper, Dave Navarro, Travis Barker and Slash mourned Paul’s loss on social media.

“Terribly saddened by the news of Vinnie Paul’s passing,” wrote Cooper, 70. “Vinnie was a beloved fixture in the rock and metal communities and we will miss seeing him out on the road. His impact on heavy music is immeasurable. Rest In Peace Vinnie, condolences to your family, friends and fans.”

“Tragic news about Vinnie Paul today,” said Slash, 52. “He was one of the warmest people I knew. A truly good & fun friend. We’re going to miss you more than you could possibly have known. RIP buddy.”

Both Navarro, 51, and Barker, 42, talked about the Abbot siblings being reunited. “Heaven has Dimebag and Vinnie now,” said Barker, with Navarro writing, “Say hello to your brother, man.”

Pantera was one of metal’s most mainstream bands, releasing a total of nine albums — beginning with 1983’s Metal Magic and ending with 2000’s Reinventing the Steel.

Their 1994 album, Far Beyond Driven, was their biggest success, debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. Its lead single, “I’m Broken,” earned the band their first Grammy nomination for best metal performance. They would go on to be nominated for three more Grammys throughout their career.

The group transformed their sound throughout their two decades of recording. Though they began as a traditional glam metal bed, they evolved into groove metal and thrash metal. They’re considered pioneers of the new wave of American heavy metal and the development of movements like metalcore and nu metal.

Though Pantera disbanded shortly after their final album, the Abbott brothers would go on to form Damageplan in 2003. They were performing under that moniker when Darrell was killed.

Paul has spent well over the last decade as the drummer for heavy metal supergroup HELLYEAH. Formed in 2006, the group’s other band members include Mudvayne vocalist Chad Gray and Nothingface guitarist Tom Maxwell.

HELLYEAH has released a total of five studio albums, including 2016’s Unden!able. Back in October, it was reported by Blabbermouth that they were heading into the recording studio to work on their sixth album. No release date for that LP has been announced.

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