Vinnie Paul of Pantera, Hellyeah and Damageplan Passes Away at 54


Story by Anne Erickson

One of metal music’s most beloved drummers, Vinnie Paul Abbott, has passed away

Vinnie Paul Abbott, best known as simply “Vinnie Paul” by metal fans, has passed away at the age of 54. Vinnie Paul was a legendary drummer in the metal music genre, most notably in the metal and hard rock bands Pantera, Hellyeah and Damageplan.

An official statement on Pantera’s Facebook page broke the news, stating, “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.”

Vinnie Paul was born on March 11, 1964, in Abilene, Texas. His brother, the late Dimebag Darrell, was also a beloved metal musician. Vinnie and Dimebag formed the popular heavy metal band Pantera together in 1981.

After his brother’s tragic death while performing in Ohio in 2004 with the band Damageplan, Vinnie Paul formed Hellyeah, a hard rock supergroup that also included members of the band Mudvayne. With Hellyeah, Vinnie was once again at the top of the charts, with songs such as “Moth” and “I Don’t Care Anymore” getting regular rock airplay.

Vinnie Paul’s friends and colleagues are sending out messages of sorrow and paying their respect to Vinnie on social media.

“So sad to hear of the death of Vinnie Paul,” said Kiss’ Paul Stanley. “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.”

“Shocked and saddened to hear of Vinnie Paul’s passing,” said Geezer Butler of Black Sabbath. “A true original. Had some good laughs when we toured with Pantera. Gone too soon.”

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

“Gutted to hear about the nicest guy in metal passing,” said Papa Roach. “Vinnie Paul showed us nothing but love. We’ll miss you Vinnie.”