Vinnie Paul, Pantera Drummer and Co-Founder, Dead at 54

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Vinnie Paul, drummer and co-founder of Pantera and Damageplan, has died at age 54.
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  • Vinnie Paul
    American drummer (1964-2018)
  • Phil Anselmo
    Phil Anselmo
    American heavy metal vocalist
  • Dimebag Darrell
    American guitarist (1966-2004)
  • Paul Abbott
    Paul Abbott
    English writer and producer

Vinnie Paul, drummer and founding member of the heavy metal band Pantera, died at the age of 54 Friday night, the band announced on Facebook. No immediate cause of death was provided.

"Vincent Paul Abbott aka Vinnie Paul has passed away," Pantera 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."

The Texas-born Paul formed Pantera alongside his brother, guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, and bassist Rex Brown in 1981. After recording three albums in the early Eighties with vocalists Donnie Hart and Terry Glaze, the band recruited singer Phil Anselmo in 1987 to form Pantera's classic lineup of Anselmo, Abbott, Paul and Brown.

Beginning with 1990's Cowboys From Hell, the quartet emerged as one of heavy metal's most celebrated bands. The band followed that breakout LP with a trio of metal classics, 1992's Vulgar Display of Power (Number 10 on Rolling Stone's Greatest Metal Albums list), 1994's Far Beyond Driven (which debuted at Number One on the Billboard 200) and 1996's The Great Southern Trendkill. Three years after 2000's Reinventing the Steel, Pantera disbanded following a rift between the Abbott brothers and Anselmo.

Following Pantera, the Abbott Brothers formed Damageplan and released 2004's New Found Power, but that band's tenure was tragically cut short when Dimebag was shot and killed onstage by a deranged fan in December 2004.

Two years after the death of his brother, Paul returned to music with the metal supergroup Hellyeah, which featured Mudvayne singer Chad Gray and guitarist Greg Tribbett and Nothingface guitarist Tom Maxwell and bassist Jerry Montano; Paul's Damageplan bandmate Bob Zilla ultimately replaced Montano on bass. The supergroup released five albums together over the past decade, most recently 2016's Unden!able.

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