Legendary metal man Vinnie Paul died at the age of 54 in his sleep at his home in Las Vegas. The official cause of death was dilated cardiomyopathy, an enlarged heart, as well as severe coronary artery disease.
Vinnie was buried on June 30th, 2018, next to his brother, Pantera guitarist"Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, and their mother,Carolyn, at Moore Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Arlington, Texas. He was laid to rest in a custom "Kiss Kasket" provided byKissmembersGene SimmonsandPaul Stanleyas a gift to Vinnie's family. Attendees includedoriginal Kiss guitaristAce Frehley,Disturbed'sDavid Draiman,Nickelback'sChad Kroeger,Anthrax'sCharlie Benante,Fozzy'sChris JerichoandRough Cutt'sPaul Shortino.
Born on March 11th, 1964 in Abilene, Texas to Carolyn and her then-husband, country singer and songwriterJerry Abbott, Vinnie and his brother, guitarist"Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, founded Pantera in 1981 along with bassistRex Brown. After three moderately hard-rocking independent albums, the band recruited singerPhilip Anselmoand evolved into a much heavier-sounding act. Their 1990 major label debut,Cowboys From Hell, made them pioneers of a new kind of sound that combined thrash metal riffing with grinding groove-laden rhythms and an almost industrial precision.
Pantera became one of the most influential metal bands of the '90s, churning out classic albums likeVulgar Display Of PowerandFar Beyond Driven, the latter of which hit Number One on theBillboard200 chart. When the band broke up in the early 2000s due to tensions between the Abbotts and Anselmo, the brothers started a new band calledDamageplan.
But that came to an end on December 8th, 2004, when Darrell Abbott was shot dead onstage at the age of 38 by a deranged gunman as the band performed at the Alrosa Villa nightclub in Columbus, Ohio. Vinnie never spoke with Phil Anselmo again after his brother's death, feeling that some things Anselmo said about Darrell in the press may have set the killer off.
Two years after his brother's death, Vinnie returned to music with the groupHellyeah, which also featured members ofMudvayneandNothingface. Vinnie recorded a total of six albums with the band over the past decade, including the upcomingWelcome Home, for which he laid down his drum tracks before his death.