Vinnie Paul has died, aged 54.
The drummer co-founded metal group Pantera in 1981, with his brother Dimebag Darrell and Rex Brown. The group split in 2003.
An announcement was made on Pantera’s official Facebook page on Friday night.
‘Vincent Paul Abbott aka Vinnie Paul has passed away,’ the post reads. ‘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.’
Thousands of fans flocked to give their condolences, as well as the drummer’s peers.
I just woke up in Belgium to the news that my friend Vinnie Paul has passed away. Another metal hero taken too soon. Say hello to Daryl for me. Rest In Peace, my dear friend. @Pantera @hellyeahband #vinniepaul
— Dave Mustaine (@DaveMustaine) June 23, 2018
Can’t believe it.
R.I.P to our brother Vinnie Paul. https://t.co/In2Dlmmfq5
— Anthrax (@Anthrax) June 23, 2018
I have just heard about the legend Vinnie Paul’s passing. I am beyond gutted about this as he welcomed me with open arms early in my musical career. Thank you for so many great memories and so many legendary songs. You will be truly missed 💔 #legend
— CC (@christiancoma) June 23, 2018
R.i.p Vinnie Paul. 🙁 I found him soft spoken… peace brother.
— Devin Townsend (@dvntownsend) June 23, 2018
Rock in peace Vinnie Paul
Say hi to brother Dime from all of us
We love you . Wish you were still here. Gone too soon man . Thanks for the music. And more importantly 30 years of non stop friendship. How rare is that In this business? I'm really gonna miss you 💕 pic.twitter.com/LUY41pzC0l
— Sebastian Bach (@sebastianbach) June 23, 2018
Pantera found mainstream success after their major label release of 1990’s ‘Cowboys From Hell’, following a shake-up of the band’s line-up, recruiting lead singer Phil Anselmo in 1987.
After the group split in 2003, Vince Paul and Dimebag Darrell formed Damageplan that same year. They were performing in Columbus, Ohio on Dec 8, 2004 when Darrell was tragically shot and killed along with four other gig goers.
Since 2006, Paul was drumming for Hellyeah, a supergroup which featured Mudvayne singer Chad Gray and guitarist Greg Tribbett, as well as Nothingface guitarist Tom Maxwell and bassist Jerry Montano. Damageplan’s Bob Zilla eventually replaced Montano on bass.
Their most recent release was ‘Unden!able’ in 2016.