Saturday, June 23, 2018

Pantera and Hellyeah drummer Vinnie Paul dead at 54

Pantera and Hellyeah drummer and cofounder Vinnie Paul died June 22 in Las Vegas, NV at the age of 54.

News of the rocker's death was announced via his personal and Pantera’s Facebook pages.

“Vincent Paul Abbott aka Vinnie Paul has passed away,” read the statement. “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.”

TMZ reports the drummer’s family confirmed Paul died in his sleep at his Las Vegas home, adding that the medical examiner will determine a cause of death, after which he'll be flown back to his home state of Texas to be buried between his mother and brother, guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott.

Paul and his brother cofounded Pantera in Arlington, TX in 1981. The group’s 1983 debut, “Metal Magic”, and three follow-up records were issued on their own independent label before the 1990 release of the major-label debut, “Cowboys From Hell.”

The addition of singer Phil Anselmo in 1986 came as Pantera were developing their unique mix of hard rock, thrash and hair metal, which would bring them platinum success throughout the 1990s while establishing the Abbott brothers as stars in their own right.

Pantera disbanded in 2003, with the Abbotts going on to launch Damageplan and its 2004 debut, “New Found Power.”

While on tour to support the record, Dimebag Darrell was shot dead onstage during a December 8, 2004 club show in Columbus, OH.

Vinnie went on to join the new Dallas, TX-based supergroup Hellyeah in 2006, who issued their self-titled debut a year later – the first of five releases up to 2016’s “Undeniable.”

In recent months, Hellyeah have been in a Las Vegas studio recording a new album.