Legendary Rock Drummer Dead at 54

Vinnie Paul

A legendary drummer and founding member of the heavy metal band Pantera has died.

Vinnie Paul died Friday night at the age of 54, the band Pantera announced on Facebook. No cause of death was given.

“Vincent Paul Abbott aka Vinnie Paul has passed away,” the band wrote. “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.”

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The Las Vegas Review Journal reported that Paul died in Las Vegas.

Paul Stanley of KISS tweeted his thoughts on Paul’s passing. “So sad to hear of the death of Vinnie Paul. Loved when Pantera did shows with us and in later years Vinnie was always front and center at all KISS shows. RIP and condolences to his family,” he wrote.

Vinnie Paul founded Pantera in 1981 with his guitarist brother “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott, who died in 2004, and bassist Rex Brown.

Michael Sweet of the metal band Stryper posted his condolences on Facebook.

Got to hang out with Vinnie in LV a few years ago. He was a gentleman with a huge heart. So, so sorry to hear this news and completely shocked🙏 God Bless you Vinnie, God speed my friend🙏🙏🙏 RIP #vinniepaul

Posted by Michael Sweet on Friday, June 22, 2018

Their album Vulgar Display of Power was named the #10 album on Rolling Stone’s Greatest Metal Albums list.

After Pantera broke up and his brother died, Paul continued to play, forming the band Hellyeah.

Eleven Seven Music, the music label for Hellyeah, released a statement on Paul’s passing. “Vinnie Paul Abbott wasn’t just a drummer, he was an iconic fixture in the metal and hard rock community, a pioneer, and an absolute legend. He was a self taught drummer who went on to win many awards for his impeccable skills throughout his career,” the statement said.

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