Hearts are breaking across the metal world following the shock news of Pantera co-founder Vinnie Paul Abbott’s death at the age of 54.
His cause of death remains unknown, but his family have told TMZ that the legendary drummer died in his sleep at his home in Las Vegas.
His body has been turned over to the medical examiner, after which he’ll be flown back to his home state of Texas to be buried between his mother and brother, Pantera co-founder Dimebag Darrell.
Meanwhile, tributes have been flowing across social media for the beloved groove metal pioneer, as his friends, fans and peers struggle to come to terms with his loss.
Vinnie’s Hellyeah bandmate Tom Maxwell has penned a heartfelt homage to the late legend, confessing that he feels “broken hearted and in shock”.
“I’m struggling to write this but we want to thank you all for your kind words and support in this tragic time,” the guitarist writes.
“We don’t have much info to give you other then Vinnie is now with Dime and they are together in a better place.”
As fans will know, Vinnie’s passing follows the tragic assassination of his brother, Dime, onstage during a DamagePlam show in 2004.
“Sadness, shock, confusion, anger, despair. We feel it all together,” Maxwell continues. “Hug your loved ones and keep them close. Thank you all again for all your love. Vinnie will be and is greatly loved and missed but his music will live forever. Crank it loud today and scream to the heavens so he can hear you.”
Other metal legends to tip their hats to the great Vinnie Paul include Metallica’s Lars Ulrich, Slash, Alice Cooper, KISS’s Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons, Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine, Avenged Sevenfold and more.
Read their words and memories of below.
Tragic news about Vinnie Paul today. He was one of the warmest people I knew. A truly good & fun friend. We're going to miss you more than you could possibly have known. RIP buddy. https://t.co/yQqruY4tio
— Slash (@Slash) June 23, 2018
Terribly saddened by the news of Vinnie Paul’s passing. Vinnie was a beloved fixture in the rock and metal communities and we will miss seeing him out on the road. His impact on heavy music is immeasurable. Rest In Peace Vinnie, condolences to your family, friends and fans.
— Alice Cooper (@alicecooper) June 23, 2018
So sad to hear of the death of Vinnie Paul. 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. https://t.co/DaQREBNVW7
— Paul Stanley (@PaulStanleyLive) June 23, 2018
I just woke up in Belgium to the news that my friend Vinnie Paul has passed away. Another metal hero taken too soon. Say hello to Daryl for me. Rest In Peace, my dear friend. @Pantera @hellyeahband #vinniepaul
— Dave Mustaine (@DaveMustaine) June 23, 2018
Thank you for all the good times, Vinnie…your incredible hospitality and warm vibe was infectious and inspiring. Here’s to another shot of Crown Royal and a next level game of air hockey down the road! RIP, brother. Much love. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/ehNXoO88jY
— Lars Ulrich (@larsulrich) June 23, 2018
Vinnie has been at nearly every birthday bash in Cabo from the beginning. I was at the cantina in Cabo late last night when I got the news. It sure is hard to believe. Great drummer, great guy and a great friend. Very sad.https://t.co/ieHMsqi8rw
— Sammy Hagar (@sammyhagar) June 23, 2018
GOD BLESS VINNIE PAUL – 1964-2O18 – FATHER VINNIE,Your Compassion for others & Your Love for seeing everyone around you Happy I will never forget – Your Heart of Gold Made The World a Better Place – Go be w/Your BELOVED BROTHER – I LOVE YOU – tBLSt SDMF pic.twitter.com/8VC3T3hQa2
— Zakk Wylde (@ZakkWyldeBLS) June 23, 2018
— Sofa King Awesome (@CoreyTaylorRock) June 23, 2018
— Geezer Butler (@GZRMusic) June 23, 2018
Rock in peace Vinnie Paul
Say hi to brother Dime from all of us
We love you . Wish you were still here. Gone too soon man . Thanks for the music. And more importantly 30 years of non stop friendship. How rare is that In this business? I'm really gonna miss you 💕 pic.twitter.com/LUY41pzC0l
— Sebastian Bach (@sebastianbach) June 23, 2018
I’m sad. One of many hammered nights I spent with this man… stunned. 😥
R.I.P. V.P. pic.twitter.com/ks6uxfbjID
— Robb Flynn (@TheGeneralMH) June 23, 2018
Rest in peace, Vinnie. Our prayers and good wishes go to his family, friends and fans. https://t.co/iXQ4Hum9lT
— Gene Simmons (@genesimmons) June 23, 2018
Damn it. I love you brother. RIP Vinnie Paul. https://t.co/73fTmNLA2F
— Scott Ian (@Scott_Ian) June 23, 2018
RIP Vinnie Paul. Friend. Humorist. Badass drummer. All-around good man. Condolences to the family. You will be missed bro…
— Duff McKagan (@DuffMcKagan) June 23, 2018
— Robert Caggiano (@RobCaggiano) June 23, 2018
R.i.p Vinnie Paul. 🙁 I found him soft spoken… peace brother.
— Devin Townsend (@dvntownsend) June 23, 2018
— FOZZY (@FOZZYROCK) June 23, 2018
The World has lost another legend. He was an inspiration and a good friend… We will miss you Vinnie Paul. R.I.P. pic.twitter.com/KhCy2HKgMW
— Five Finger Death Punch (@FFDP) June 23, 2018
I’m sad to hear my friend Vinnie Paul has passed away. Always one of the sweetest people in this rock n roll world. I will never forget his laugh. Also, the intro to our song 10 strikes you’re out is a straight up Vinnie quote. 1,2, BBQ!!!!!!
— Stix Zadinia (@Stixzadinia) June 23, 2018
— Bret Michaels (@bretmichaels) June 23, 2018
Gutted to hear about the nicest guy in metal passing. Vinnie Paul showed us nothing but love. We'll miss you Vinnie.
— Papa Roach (@paparoach) June 23, 2018
Rest In Peace Vinnie Paul. Heaven has Dimebag and Vinnie now #RIPVINNIEPAUL
— Travis Barker (@travisbarker) June 23, 2018
FUCK!!! Just waking up here in Belgium to the news of Vinnie Paul…I’m in total shock…Heaven just got a little crazier with the Abbott Bros back together again…RIP Bro pic.twitter.com/HkC2yVaqtu
— Mike Portnoy