Vinnie Paul of Pantera, Hellyeah Dies At 54

Vinnie Paul, drummer and a founding member of heavy metal band Pantera, died Friday night. He was 54.

“Vincent Paul Abbott aka Vinnie Paul has passed away,” reads a message on the band’s Facebook page. “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.”

No cause of death was revealed.

Reaction to the musician’s death came quickly on social media. Paul Stanley of KISS tweeted: “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.”

Slash called Paul "one of the warmest people I knew. A truly good & fun friend." He added: "We're going to miss you more than you could possibly have known. RIP buddy."

A tweet from Anthrax reads: “Can’t believe it. R.I.P to our brother Vinnie Paul.”

Paul created Pantera with his brother “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott – who was shot to death on stage in 2004 – and bassist Rex Brown in 1981. The band released nine albums between 1983 and 2000 and earned a pair of Grammy nominations.

Following Pantera, Paul formed Damageplan. After his brother's death, he released five albums as part of Hellyeah.

“Another metal hero taken too soon,” tweeted Dave Mustaine of Megadeath. “Say hello to [Darell] for me.”

Geezer Butler of Black Sabbath shared that he was “shocked and saddened.” Describing Paul as “a true original,” he tweeted: “Had some good laughs when we toured with Pantera. Gone too soon.”

A tweet from Papa Roach reads: “Gutted to hear about the nicest guy in metal passing. Vinnie Paul showed us nothing but love. We’ll miss you Vinnie.”

Drummer Chris Adler of Lamb of God and Megadeath, wrote on Facebook: “Vinnie… I told you 100 times I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing had you not changed the world. I was fortunate enough to get to know you as a man and as a true friend. You made me feel good about me. You taught me how. You showed me kindness and allowed me in. I will never forget.”

Canadian rocker Sebastian Bach shared an emotional message on Twitter from Edmonton (Warning: Video contains strong language):