Pantera drummer Vinnie Paul dead at 54

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

Pantera’s official Facebook page posted a statement early Saturday announcing his death. The label of Hellyeah, his most recent group, confirmed the death but neither statement mentioned Paul’s cause of death.

His real name was Vincent Paul Abbott. He and his brother, Dimebag Darrell, formed Pantera in 1981. Dimebag, whose real name was Darrell Lance Abbott, was shot to death while on stage with the band Damageplan in 2004.

The two brothers founded Damageplan in 2003 after Pantera broke up.

Paul was most recently in the band Hellyeah, a heavy metal supergroup which included Mudvayne vocalist Chad Gray and Nothingface guitarist Tom Maxwell.

“Today, the world not only lost a legend, but also a genuine human being who lived to put a smile on the faces of everyone he met,” Hellyeah’s label Eleven Seven Music said in a statement. “May he be reunited with his brother as we all strive to continue his legacy.”

Alice Cooper tweeted Paul’s impact on music was “immeasurable.” Tributes poured in from others in the rock and metal communities, including Slash and the bands Disturbed and Megadeth.

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