‘The family requests you please respect their privacy during this time.’

Vinnie Paul has died, aged 54.

The drummer co-founded metal group Pantera in 1981, with his brother Dimebag Darrell and Rex Brown.  The group split in 2003.

An announcement was made on Pantera’s official Facebook page on Friday night.

‘Vincent Paul Abbott aka Vinnie Paul has passed away,’ the post reads. ‘Paul is best known for his work as the drummer in the bands Pantera and Hellyeah.

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‘No further details are available at this time. The family requests you please respect their privacy during this time.’

Thousands of fans flocked to give their condolences, as well as the drummer’s peers.

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Vinnie Paul playing with Pantera in 1994

Vinnie Paul playing with Pantera in 1994

Pantera found mainstream success after their major label release of 1990’s ‘Cowboys From Hell’, following a shake-up of the band’s line-up, recruiting lead singer Phil Anselmo in 1987.

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After the group split in 2003, Vince Paul and Dimebag Darrell formed Damageplan that same year. They were performing in Columbus, Ohio on Dec 8, 2004 when Darrell was tragically shot and killed along with four other gig goers.

Since 2006, Paul was drumming for Hellyeah, a supergroup which featured Mudvayne singer Chad Gray and guitarist Greg Tribbett, as well as Nothingface guitarist Tom Maxwell and bassist Jerry Montano. Damageplan’s Bob Zilla eventually replaced Montano on bass.

Their most recent release was ‘Unden!able’ in 2016.

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