Pantera drummer and co-founder Vinnie Paul dies aged 54

Vinnie Paul of Pantera

R.I.P. Vinnie Paul, Pantera drummer has died at 54

Vinnie Paul, the co-founder and drummer of the metal band Pantera, has died aged 54.

Paul formed Pantera with his brother Dimebag Darrell, real name Darrell Lance Abbott, who was also the group's guitarist.

GETTYVinnie Paul dead: How did the Pantera drummer die?

Billboard first reported the news, later confirmed on Pantera's official Facebook page.

Tragedy struck later that year when Dimebag was shot and killed onstage during a Damageplan gig in OH on December 8 by gunman Nathan Gale, who also killed three more people and injured seven others that night.

Vinnie Paul Abbott (L) holds a cardboard cutout of his brother, slain rocker "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, as he addresses fans at public memorial service at the Arlington Convention Center December 14, 2004 in Arlington, Texas.

"The cause of Vinnie's death isn't known at this time, with the band asking for his family to have privacy at this time".

Since 2006, Paul was drumming for Hellyeah, a supergroup featuring Mudvayne singer Chad Gray and guitarist Greg Tribbett, as well as Nothingface guitarist Tom Maxwell and bassist Jerry Montano.

"We had 13 years of really, really good success".

RIP Vinnie Paul. Hope you're up there knocking back black tooth grins at the pearly gates with Dime. "Rest In Peace, my dear friend". "Devastated to hear the news of the passing of the great Vinnie Paul (sic.)", he wrote. He was one of the warmest people I knew.

After the band broke up in 2003, Paul and his brother formed Damageplan.

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