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Pantera Drummer Vinnie Paul Dead at 54

Pantera Drummer Vinnie Paul Dead at 54
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Vinnie Paul, one of the most esteemed drummers in the world and co-founder of the metal band Pantera, has died, Billboard reports. He was 54.

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A statement on Pantera's Facebook page reads, "Vincent 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."

Paul and his brother Dimebag Darrell founded Pantera in 1981, seeing mainstream success in spite of the band's adherence to Top 40-unfriendly metal. Pantera was nominated for four Grammys.

After Pantera split up, Paul and his brother formed Damageplan, the band in which they were playing onstage when Darrell was shot dead during a performance in 2004.

Paul had been the drummer for heavy metal supergroup Hellyeah since 2006.