Pantera and Hellyeah drummer Vinnie Paul, one of the most influential and well-loved hard rock drummers of the past three decades, died Friday. He was 54.
No immediate cause was given. He reportedly died in Las Vegas, where he owned a home. His Facebook page and the official Pantera page posted a statement that says, "The family requests you please respect their privacy during this time."
Paul had recently finished tracking drums for Hellyeah's sixth album.
Vincent Paul Abbott was born in Abilene, Texas on March 11th, 1964. He and his younger brother, Dimebag Darrell Abbott, formed Pantera in 1981. The group's earliest work was in the hair metal vein, but changed to a more aggressive sound after singer Phil Anselmo joined in 1986. Their breakthrough album was 1990's Cowboys From Hell -- the first of four consecutive platinum releases. The band split up in 2003 after tensions with Anselmo came to a head.
More below, but first, here's a live version of one of my favorite Pantera songs "Becoming".
The Abbott brothers formed Damageplan later in 2003 and released a debut album, New Found Power, in February 2004. On December 8th, 2004, Vinnie Paul watched his brother get shot and killed onstage during a performance in Columbus, Ohio. The gunman, Nathan Gale, also killed a fan, a club employee and one of the band's security team before being shot to death by a police officer.
Damageplan crushed it with this track.....
After an 18-month hiatus from music to mourn his brother, Vinnie was recruited into Hellyeah, with Mudvayne singer Chad Gray. The group's first album was released in 2007, with four more to date.
Hellyeah swung for the fences with "Human" a couple years ago. So freakin' badass! We'll miss you Vinnie! RIP.