Pantera drummer Vinnie Paul has died, it was confirmed over the weekend. He was 54.
A statement on the band’s Facebook page reads: “Vincent Paul Abbott, aka Vinnie Paul, has passed away. 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”.
Paul formed Pantera with his guitarist brother Dimebag Darrell Abbott in 1981. After the band split in 2003, the brothers formed new band Damageplan and released an album the following year. However, in 2004, Darrell was shot and killed on stage at a show in Ohio.
More recently, Vinnie Paul had been performing with Hellyeah, a band also featuring Mudvayne vocalist Chad Gray and Nothingface guitarist Tom Maxwell.
In a post on the Hellyeah Facebook page, Maxwell writes: “Just so broken hearted and in shock. I’m struggling to write this but we want to thank you all for your kind words and support in this tragic time. We don’t have much info to give you other then Vinnie is now with Dime and they are together in a better place”.
The message goes on: “Sadness, shock, confusion, anger, despair. We feel it all together. Hug your loved ones and keep them close. Thank you all again for all your love. Vinnie will be and is greatly loved and missed but his music will live forever. Crank it loud today and scream to the heavens so he can hear you”.
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Vinnie Paul died in his sleep following a heart attack, although there has been no official confirmation of this as yet.