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    Vinnie Paul Dies; Beloved Drummer Was 54

    Vinne Paul, a veteran musician in the heavy metal music industry and a founding member of the band Pantera, died this week from unknown causes.

    He was 54 years old.

    The drummer's death was announced by Pantera on Saturday via Twitter, as the group simply posted the following message:

    Vinnie Paul Abbott aka Vinnie Paul has passed away.

    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.

    pantera pic

    Paul helped create Pantera in the 1980s, along with his brother, guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott. Their father a famous country and western songwriter and producer named Jerry Abbott.

    The group enjoyed mainstream success with second lead singer Phil Anselmo.

    Throughout its career, Pantera earned four Grammy nominations and charted nine albums on the Billboard 200, including its 1994 album Far Beyond Driven, which debuted atop the chart at the time of its release.

    After Pantera split up, the Abbott siblings formed Damageplan in 2003.

    However, the band was performing in December 2004 when Dimebag Darrell was shot and killed onstage during a concert in Columbus, Ohio.

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

    In the wake of Paul's passing, some major names in the music business have shared their condolences on social media.

    Alice Cooper Tweeted the following:

    “Terribly saddened by the news of Vinnie Paul’s passing.

    "Vinnie was a beloved fixture in the rock and metal communities and we will miss seeing him out on the road. His impact on heavy music is immeasurable. Rest In Peace Vinnie, condolences to your family, friends and fans.”

    ac tweet

    And then there was this from Slash:

    “Tragic news about Vinnie Paul today.

    "He was one of the warmest people I knew. A truly good & fun friend. We’re going to miss you more than you could possibly have known. RIP buddy."

    slash tweet

    And this from Bret Michaels:

    "Vinnie – You will be missed! You were an amazing human being & we had many great times together. A toast to you my friend, my prayers are with you!"

    And this from Dave Mustaine of Megadeth:

    "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."

    "Gutted to hear about the nicest guy in metal passing. Vinnie Paul showed us nothing but love. We'll miss you Vinnie," Papa Roach also wrote in response.

    As we said above, we do not know how Paul died right now or even on which day.

    We'll update this story with more information and news as it breaks,

    May Vinnie Paul rest in peace.

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