Drummer Vinnie Paul, co-founder of metal band Pantera, has died. Currently a member of Hellyeah, Paul was 54.

His representative confirmed the legendary drummer’s death to Billboard, but added that no further details are available at this time.

“Vincent Paul Abbott aka Vinnie Paul has passed away,” reads a statement on the Pantera 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.”

One of Vinnie Paul’s bandmates in the metal supergroup Hellyeah penned a tribute to the drummer Saturday morning following news of Paul’s death.

“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,” Hellyeah guitarist Tom Maxwell wrote on the band’s Facebook. “We don’t have much info to give you other then Vinnie is now with Dime [brother “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott, who was shot and killed onstage in 2004] and they are together in a better place.”

“Sadness, shock, confusion, anger, despair. We feel it all together,” Maxwell continued. “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.”

Eleven Seven Music – the label that released Hellyeah’s last three albums, most recently 2016’s Unden!able – also commented on Paul’s death Saturday morning

“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,” Eleven Seven Music, which released Hellyeah’s last three albums, said in a statement.

“A founding member of Pantera, DamagePlan and his current band Hellyeah, Vinnie was a vital force for bands and millions of fans worldwide. Whether fans were turning their volume to 11 or headbanging their hearts out at live shows, Vinnie was an inspiration… Today, the world not only lost a legend, but also a genuine human being who lived to put a smile on the faces of everyone he met. May he be reunited with his brother as we all strive to continue his legacy.”

Along with his brother, Dimebag Darrell, Paul (born Vincent Paul Abbott) formed Pantera in 1981. The group found mainstream success with second lead singer Phil Anselmo. Throughout its career, Pantera earned four Grammy nominations and charted nine albums on the Billboard 200, including its 1994 album Far Beyond Driven, which debuted at number one on the chart.

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  • Jason Falkinham on

    Very sad! I’ve never been the biggest Pantera fan but they were very good live the few times I saw them and Vinnie was a beast on drums in that band…very underrated! More importantly, he was a great human being! We spent a few mins with him at a Steel Panther show in Vegas a few years ago and he talked to us like he’s known us for years and not people he just met. Rest easy Vince, you are now in peace with your brother!

  • Tyger of Pan Tang on

    The guy lived large – truly one of the last great Rock Stars.

  • Taskerofpuppets on

    Rock hard, die hard. Of all the many people feeling terrible about this loss, I feel for Phil & Rex. Hellyeah had become a great band. Really gonna miss this guy and his incredible & awesome drumming. He was inspirational. Thank goodness they came around so strong and fuk’n heavy in the 90’s. Loved seeing them live. RIP Vinnie & Dimebag

  • James K. on

    I’ve been having a hard time wrapping my head around this. It just doesn’t make sense. It’s beyond tragic that he’s gone. My friends and I grew up with Pantera. I saw Pantera in clubs in the Dallas/Fort Worth area before they signed to a major label. I saw one of Phil’s first shows with the band. They were OUR band. When they made Cowboys From Hell and the ball started rolling for them, it was so exciting to watch every step of their rise to fame. It was like we were sharing our band with the world and those guys made all of us here in Texas proud. But it was heartbreaking to watch them fall apart. Darrell’s murder was and will always be one of the worst events in music history. And now Vinnie is gone. I fought back tears most of last weekend to various degrees of success. The times I did break down, I broke down hard just like I did when Dimebag was killed. I send my prayers out to Vinnie and Darrell’s dad, Jerry Abbott. How sad that he’s lost both his sons now. That’s beyond heartbreaking. When I saw the news about Vinnie when it first broke I wanted it to be a fake news report, like when the fake story went out last year that Ted Nugent had been killed in a hunting accident. But, at the realization that the story about Vinnie was true, I just started crying, I couldn’t help it. Hearts are broken and eyes are full of tears across the Lone Star State and across the world. If there is going to be a public memorial for Vinnie, i will attend.

    Rest in peace Vincent Paul Abbott.

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