Former PANTERA drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott has died. He was 54 years old.
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Vinnie passed away Friday in Las Vegas, where he owned a home. No other details of his death were immediately available.
The drummer's passing was confirmed on both his personal and PANTERA's Facebook pages, where an identical announcement appeared Friday night.
"Vincent Paul Abbott aka Vinnie Paul has passed away," the statement read. "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."
Vinnie Paul and his brother "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott co-founded PANTERA. When PANTERA broke up in 2003, they formed DAMAGEPLAN. On December 8, 2004, while performing with DAMAGEPLAN at the Alrosa Villa in Columbus, Ohio, Dimebag was shot and killed onstage by Nathan Gale. He was 38 years old.
Since his brother's murder, Vinnie Paul released several Dimebag-related items through his Big Vin Records label, including DVDs and the paperback book "He Came to Rock". Vinnie later said that the Dimebag-related releases weren't an attempt to cash in on his brother's tragic end but rather a way to keep Dimebag's legacy alive and well.
Up until his death, Vinnie remained on non-speaking terms with former PANTERA singer Philip Anselmo.
Vinnie and Anselmo's relationship got more acrimonious when Vinnie indirectly blamed Philip for Dimebag's death, suggesting that some remarks the vocalist had made about Dimebag in print just weeks earlier might have incited Dimebag's killer.
Vinnie Paul has consistently shot down persistent calls for a PANTERA reunion with Zakk Wylde (BLACK LABEL SOCIETY, OZZY OSBOURNE) filling in for Dimebag on guitar, telling Metal Hammer: "I'm not interested because there's no Dime, and, to me, if there's no Dime, there's no PANTERA. That's my reason. It's behind me. I've moved on. I play in a band called HELLYEAH and I really love doing it. I'm looking forward to moving forward; I don't wanna live in the past."
For the past decade, Vinnie has been touring and recording with HELLYEAH, whose fifth album, "Unden!able", came out in 2016.
Shortly before his death, Vinnie laid down the drum tracks for HELLYEAH's sixth album at The Hideout recording studio in Las Vegas.
This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.