A statement on the Pantera family Facebook page read, "Vincent Paul Abbott aka Vinnie Paul has passed away. 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."
Paul and his Pantera bandmates had big success in the 1980s and '90s. They've sold more than 60 million records.
The rocker, whose full name was Vincent Paul Abbott, formed Panera with his brother, Dimebag Darrell in 1981. The group's 1994 album Far Beyond Driven, debuted at No. 1 on the charts.
Once Pantera ran its course, the Abbott brothers formed Damageplan in 2003. Tragically, guitarist Dimebag was shot and killed onstage while Damageplan was performing in concert on Dec. 8, 2004 in Columbus, Ohio. The crime was committed by a mentally disturbed 25-year-old male fan who had stormed the stage and murdered Dimebag and three others.
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Now Texas-born rock drummer Paul has passed away at a young age as well.
He had boasted in an interview that he "was a metal-head from day one. Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Kiss, Van Halen, all my favorite bands had really great grooves to their music."
Paul's fellow rockers are now mourning his loss online, including Paul Stanley of Kiss, Dave Mustaine of Megadeth, and Travis Barker.
Stanley wrote on Twitter, "So sad to hear of the death of Vinnie Paul. Loved when Pantera did shows with us and in later years Vinnie was always front and center at all KISS shows. RIP and condolences to his family."
And Bret Michaels chimed in with the tweet, "Vinnie was a great friend. My heart is aching. My prayers and condolences go out to his family, band and crew. Godspeed my friend."
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