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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.

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Jackson is an Associate Editor at GuitarWorld.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.