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, guitar virtuoso “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott, and bassist Rex Brown in 1981. The band spent roughly their first decade as ardent disciples of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, blending in elements of thrash and hair-metal as the decade wore on. 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.