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Vinnie Paul, Legendary Pantera Drummer, Dead at 54

Vinnie Paul—the legendary drummer for Pantera, Damageplan and Hellyeah—has died at the age of 54. His death was announced in a post on Pantera's Facebook page, and confirmed by his representative.

"Vincent Paul Abbott aka Vinnie Paul has passed away," the Facebook 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."

Paul—born Vincent Paul Abbott—formed Pantera with his brother, guitarist Dimebag Darrell, in 1981. With frontman Phil Anselmo and bassist Rex Brown, the band went onto enjoy tremendous commercial success, and became one of the most influential bands of their time.

After Pantera's dissolution, the Abbott brothers formed Damageplan. Damageplan released one album before Dimebag Darrell was shot and killed onstage during a concert in Columbus, Ohio on December 8, 2004.

Since 2006, Paul was the drummer for Hellyeah, a heavy metal supergroup that also includes Mudvayne vocalist Chad Gray and Nothingface guitarist Tom Maxwell.

Our thoughts go out to Paul's family and friends during this difficult time.