Vinnie Paul, the drummer for Pantera, Damageplan, and Hellyeah, has died at the age of 54. The cause of death was not revealed by Pantera’s official social media channels, which shared the news on Friday night.
Vinnie Paul, née Vincent Paul Abbott, started Pantera in 1981 with his younger brother, Dimebag Darrell. The beloved groove metal band rose to greater fame in the 1990’s with four consecutive platinum-selling albums: 1990’s Cowboys from Hell, 1992’s Vulgar Display of Power, 1994’s Far Beyond Driven, and 1996’s The Great Southern Trendkill. Pantera’s last album, Reinventing the Steel, was released in 2000, and Pantera officially disbanded in 2003.
Paul and Dimebag proceeded to form Damageplan, releasing New Found Power in 2004, but while touring to support the record that year in Ohio, tragedy struck when Dimebag was shot to death onstage. Damageplan dissolved and Paul re-emerged with supergroup Hellyeah, which released five albums, most recently 2016’s Undeniable.
The rock world was jolted by the news of Paul’s death, with musicians including Slash, Billy Idol, Travis Barker, Paul Stanley, Dave Mustaine and Alice Cooper paying tribute on social media, praising both his warmth and drumming ability.