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Pantera drummer, founding member Vinnie Paul dead at 54

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Vinnie Paul, the drummer and founding member of the metal band Pantera has died, the band announced on Facebook.

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

Paul, who was 54, was also known for his work as a drummer for the metal band Hellyeah.

No further details are available at this time.

“The family requests you please respect their privacy during this time,” the band said.

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

The band was nominated for Grammys in 1995 and 2001.

Pantera’s third release, “Far Beyond Driven,” debuted at No. 1 in 1994.

The band dissolved at the end of a tour in 2003 amid much speculation of a rift between band members. The two brothers, however, played down any bitterness during an interview with CNN in 2004.

“We had 13 years of really, really good success. And basically the singer wanted to move on, do some other things and really lost his focus,” Paul said at the time.