Vinnie Paul death: Pantera drummer dies aged 54, as metal rock legends pay tribute

Asher Mcshane

The drummer of heavy metal band Pantera has died aged 54.

"Vincent Paul Abbott aka Vinnie Paul has passed away," the band said in a statement.

He was also known as drummer for metal band Hellyeah.

"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", the band said in a statement online.

Dave Mustaine of Megadeth said: "I just woke up in Belgium to the news that my friend Vinnie Paul has passed away. Another metal hero taken too soon. Say hello to Daryl for me. Rest In Peace, my dear friend."

Paul Stanley, lead singer of KISS, said: "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," he wrote.

Vinnie Paul formed Pantera in the 1980s along with his brother guitarist Darrell Abbott. Their father was Jerry Abbott, a country and western songwriter and producer.

The band was nominated for Grammys in 1995 and 2001 but dissolved at the end of a tour in 2003 amid much speculation of a rift.

Abbott was shot and killed in 2004 during a concert in Ohio with new band Damageplan. A 25-year-old man stormed the stage killing him and three others.