Vinnie Paul, co-founder and drummer of the metal band Pantera, has died aged 54, the band announced on Facebook.
“Vincent Paul Abbott aka Vinnie Paul has passed away,” a statement said.
There was no cause of death given.
Paul started Pantera in 1981 with his brother, “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott the pair were sons to the country-western producer Jerry Abbott. The band had a number one album in 1994 and earned four Grammy nominations, but disbanded in 2003 amid rumours of a rift.
Paul said at the time the breakup was a result of the band’s singer, Phil Anselmo, wanting to move on.
In 2004 the two brothers formed a new band, Damageplan, but later that year a 25-year-old man stormed the stage at a gig in Columbus, Ohio, shooting dead Abbott and three others.
In 2006, Paul joined Hellyeah, alongside the former Mudvayne singer Chad Gray and Nothingface guitarist Tom Maxwell.
Fellow metal and rock stars paid tribute to the drummer.
“Another metal hero taken too soon,” said Dave Mustaine, the founder and lead singer 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. @Pantera @hellyeahband #vinniepaul
— Dave Mustaine (@DaveMustaine) June 23, 2018
“Heaven has Dimebag and Vinnie now,” wrote the Blink 182 drummer, Travis Barker.
Rest In Peace Vinnie Paul. Heaven has Dimebag and Vinnie now ??#RIPVINNIEPAUL
— Travis Barker (@travisbarker) June 23, 2018
“Loved when Pantera did shows with us and in later years Vinnie was always front and center at all KISS shows,” wrote Kiss guitarist Paul Stanley.
So sad to hear of the death of Vinnie Paul. Loved when Pantera did shows with us and in later years Vinnie was always front and center at all KISS shows. RIP and condolences to his family. https://t.co/DaQREBNVW7
— Paul Stanley (@PaulStanleyLive) June 23, 2018
“Gutted to hear about the nicest guy in metal passing,” wrote the band Papa Roach.>
Gutted to hear about the nicest guy in metal passing. Vinnie Paul showed us nothing but love. We'll miss you Vinnie.
— Papa Roach (@paparoach) June 23, 2018