Vinnie Paul, cofounder and drummer of iconic heavy metal band Pantera has died at the age of 54.
Details of the Paul’s death have not yet been made public.
The band acknowledged the loss on its Facebook page, asking fans to respect the family’s privacy.
Paul was still making music at the time of his death. He had just completed recording the drum tracks for a new album with his band Hellyeah, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Paul and Hellyeah had last performed at the Foundry, a club at the SLS resort complex in Las Vegas, in June 2016. He was often seen at local music and comedy shows and was a close friend of the comedian Carrot Top Carrot Top, whose real name is Scott Thompson, posted a short eulogy on his Instagram account.
Paul, whose real name was Vincent Paul Abbot, founded Pantera with his brother, lead guitarist Dimebag Darrell in 1981, and produced nine studio albums before the band broke up in 2003.
Pantera started as a standard glam-metal/hair-metal band but developed into a seminal heavy-metal/thrash-metal band. Pantera described its sound as “groove metal”—slower and less precise than speed-metal, heavy and wild with more of a hardcore vocal delivery.
After Pantera broke up in 2003, Paul and his brother Dimebag Darrell formed Damageplan.
Tragically, a mentally disturbed fan jumped onstage during a Damageplan show in Columbus, Ohio in December 2004, shooting and killing Dimebag Darrell, a fan, a club employee, and one of Pantera’s security guards before being fatally shot by police.