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Who was Vinnie Paul, the Pantera drummer who has died aged just 54?

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Who was Vinnie Paul, the Pantera drummer who has died aged just 54?
Vinnie Paul of the metal band Pantera, pictured in 2017, has died at the age of 54 (Picture: Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)

Metal fans are in mourning following the sad news that Panteras Vinnie Paul has died aged 54.

Fourteen years after the death of his brother and fellow band founder Dimebag Darrell, Texan drummer Vinnie has also been taken to soon.

The bearded stickman had not played with Pantera since they disbanded in 2003, but was very much still active on the scene in other bands.

Heres what we know about how he spent his years putting the rhythm in jet black bangers, and how he died on Friday 22 June 2018.

Who was Vinnie Paul, the Pantera drummer who has died aged just 54?
Vinnie, second right, with Pantera bandmates Rex Brown, Phil Anselmo and Dimebag Darrell (Picture: Getty)

Born in Abilene, Texas, to a country music father and producer mum, Vincent Paul Abbott had music in his blood.

He was inspired by drummers like Peter Criss, Tommy Aldridge, Bill Ward, John Bonham, Mikkey Dee, Alex Van Halen, and Neil Peart, and soon took on the craft himself.

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In 1981, aged 17, Vinnie formed the heavy metal band Pantera with his 15-year-old brother Dimebag Darrell (then known as Diamond Darrell).

Who was Vinnie Paul, the Pantera drummer who has died aged just 54?
The drummer was latterly part of American heavy metal supergroup Hellyeah (Picture: Sergione Infuso/Corbis via Getty Images)

Darrell almost ended up joining Megadeth but decided to stay with Pantera when his brother was not invited to join the other band.

Terry Glaze joined on guitars, as did bassist Tommy D. Bradford, and vocalist Donnie Hart.

After Hart and Bradford left, a more permanent line-up was formed by 1982 with Glaze, Rex Brown and the two brothers.

After the signing of vocalist Phil Anselmo in 1987 they got a big recording contract and began to win awards, thanks to a switch to a more intense sound, free of falsetto vocals.

Who was Vinnie Paul, the Pantera drummer who has died aged just 54?
1980s-era Pantera looked rather different (Picture: Getty)

Famously the Abbott brothers brawled with journalists from the mags Kerrang! and Raw in a pub the night before Pantera were due to play at Monsters of Rock 1994 in Donington Park.

The groove metal band went on hiatus in 2001 when Anselmo complained of back problems, and then it eventually split for good in 2003.

It was widely believed that disagreements between Anselmo, who was hooked on drugs, and the Abbott brothers led to the bands demise.

Vinnie and Dimebag formed Damageplan the same year that Pantera broke up, and they released an album in 2004.

Who was Vinnie Paul, the Pantera drummer who has died aged just 54?
Vinnie was just 54 years old (Picture: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Tragedy struck in December that same year.

While Damageplan were performing at the Alrosa Villa in Columbus, Ohia, Dimebag was shot dead onstage by 25-year-old former Marine Corps member Nathan Gale.

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Three other people – an audience member, security guard and club worker – were shot dead too.

Who was Vinnie Paul, the Pantera drummer who has died aged just 54?
Vinnie addressing fans at a memorial service for Dimebag (Picture: Paul Buck/Getty Images)

The motive of Gale, who was shot dead at the scene by police, has never been confirmed, though he was a Pantera fan and had destroyed equipment at a previous Damageplan gig.

Dimebag was just 38. Damageplan then disbanded after his death.

After that, and the death of his mother, Vinnie returned to music by joining the supergroup Hellyeah.

He remained a much-loved figure in rock n roll, and tried to get a cookbook published, called Drumming up an Appetite with Vinnie Paul.

Vinnie, thought to have been worth £4.5m, was unmarried but was in a long-term relationship with Chelsey Yeager, 33.

Theyd been together since around 2014 and she regularly posted doting messages about him online.

Vinnie Paul died on June 22, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada at the age of 54.

No cause of death has been announced yet and the news originally broke via the Pantera Facebook page.

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