Vinnie Paul Abbott's family has 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 to determine a cause of death, and after that, he will be flown back to his home state of Texas to be buried between his mother and brother.
Vinnie Paul and his brother "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott co-founded PANTERA.
When PANTERA broke up in 2003, they formed DAMAGEPLAN. On December 8, 2004, while performing with DAMAGEPLAN at the Alrosa Villa in Columbus, Ohio, Dimebag was shot and killed onstage. He was 38 years old.
LZZY HALE - "My heart is broken. Vinnie, you were one of the first rock stars I ever met. You sang [HALESTORM's] 'It's Not You' to me in Texas before it was even a thing. You gave me my first strip club experience and made sure one of the girls danced to 'I Get Off'. Not only were you an influence and a supporter of my band but you were such a good friend, always there with a smile, and a blacktooth grin. You always found your way into our life over the years, and we'd always pick up right where we left off. You were greatly loved and will always be a part of the HALESTORM family! Say hello to your brother for us... and teach them angels to fuckin' rock! Till next time, my brother!"
ZAKK WYLDE - "God bless Vinnie Paul - 1964-2018. Father Vinnie, your compassion for others and your love of seeing everyone around you happy I will never forget. Your heart of gold made the world a better place. Go be with your beloved brother as I'm sure he's holding the door open to greet you at god's tavern. I love you, my brother."
SLASH - "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."
DUFF - "RIP Vinnie Paul. Friend. Humorist. Badass drummer. All-around good man. Condolences to the family. You will be missed bro..."
MARK TREMONTI - "I had the honor of being able to hang out with [Vinnie] a few times. He was always such a gentleman, such a nice guy, such a positive spirit. He left behind such a great legacy. "When you hear news like that, it's like getting punched in the gut; you can't believe it," he continued. "I'm still not over what happened with Chris Cornell; that really hit me extremely hard. And today is just… It hasn't even sunk in yet. We woke up and we hit the stage a couple of hours later. So I think later on tonight, we'll have some drinks and it'll really sink in."
BRIAN 'HEAD' WELCH - "My God, we have lost another friend. "I don't understand what is happening. "The music world has been completely shaken by too many premature deaths the last few years. It's horrible."Vinnie Paul was definitely the kindest living legend I've ever met. He endured so much tragedy yet still had so much more love and positivity. Truly a kind soul with such a giving heart. "Just in the last couple of years, he surprised KORN with some cool gifts. Right after we walked off stage in Dallas, we were shocked to find a brand new thundering loud stereo blaring music in our dressing room as we walked in — compliments of Vinnie Paul. And on our European tour with HELLYEAH, Vinnie surprised Fieldy with a brand new bass... signed by Paul McCartney. That's the type of person he was. "Vinnie, you were one of a kind and will be so missed by countless people.
AVENGED SEVENFOLD - wrote in a Facebook post: "[We] remember how excited [original AVENGED SEVENFOLD drummer] 'The Rev' was when he first met you in Dallas after a show in the early 2000s. You grabbed him around the neck and said he was a kick-ass drummer even though he borrowed some of your chops! We were in shock that Jimmy had met our all-time favorite drummer, so we all ran to the bar to meet you and proceeded to drink the night away. You were warm and engaging. Our friendship lasted for many years and eventually resulted in a killer rendition of 'Mouth For War' at the Revolver Golden Gods, a career highlight.
"Vegas will never be the same without you. Dallas will never be the same. Metal will never be the same.
"We have been lucky enough to meet some of our idols and call them friends. You were one of the greatest of all time and a great friend. Today we mourn."
HELLYEAH - guitarist Tom Maxwell, who has played with Vinnie Paul since the band's inception in 2006, said in a statement: "Just so 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.
"We don't have much info to give you other then Vinnie is now with Dime and they are together in a better place.
"Sadness, shock, confusion, anger, despair. We feel it all together.
"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."
CHRIS JERICHO - wrote: "May 20th was the last time I texted with my bro, Vinnie Paul. His Vegas Golden Knights had just eliminated my NHL Winnipeg Jetsfrom the playoffs and we were exchanging 'the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat' pix. Now that he's gone, this picture he sent me sums him up to a tee. I'm so, so sad... I love you, Big Vin. This one hurts."
LAMB OF GOD - frontman, who spent five weeks in a Czech Republic prison in 2012 on charges of manslaughter for killing a fan (he was later acquitted), took to his Instagram late last night to express his sadness over Vinnie Paul's death and to thank the drummer for doing him "a very solid favor" when he was "in some very serious legal trouble."
Randy wrote: "Very sad news this evening. This man always treated me and the guys in my band like family. From the very first time we ever met him with his brother at a DAMAGEPLANgig in Texas — whether backstage at a show, on his crazy tour bus, at his club, at his house, he was always a gracious host to us. He just wanted people around him to be happy.
"I didn't see Vinnie much the last time we played a gig together because I heard he was in a very foul mood; this was highly unusual for him. Why was he in a foul mood? Because we were playing a big festival in Chicago, he had bought a TON OF FOOD to grill in the parking lot for everyone (as usual) and the fire marshall came and shut him down before he could start the barbeque. That's the type of dude he was — he just wanted to make sure people were having a good time, and he took steps to make that happen. He also did me a very solid favor when I was in some very serious legal trouble a while back by writing a detailed letter to a judge explaining what had happened to his brother and the need for good stage security. That wasn't an easy thing for him to do, but he did it anyway because he was a true friend and knew I needed some help. I'll never forget that, and I made sure he knew I appreciated it. He also never minded when I got in his face with my camera — I took this photo with a 50mm fixed lens at a festival we were playing with HELLYEAH in Iowa in 2016 — that means I was basically inside his drum kit. When he saw me poking my head in there, he just turned, flashed me this grin and kept on rocking.
"I love this photo — Big Vin smiling and doing what he did best.
"Rest in peace, Vinnie Paul. You'll be missed. BIG LOVE."
SAMMY HAGAR - wrote on Twitter: "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."
MICHAEL ANTHONY - added on Facebook: "So sad and heartbroken to hear of the death of my good friend Vinnie Paul. A great friend, human being, and incredible drummer. R.I.P. brother."
SEBASTIAN BACH - One of the most emotional reactions came from Vinnie’s longtime friend, Sebastian Bach, who posted a series of tweets expressing anger over Vinnie Paul’s sudden death. Bach took to Twitter to reveal that Vinnie attended his 50th birthday party last month at the Rainbow.
“I’m f–king super pissed off at you for dying bro,” Sebastian wrote.
The former lead singer of Skid Row later explained that he is not angry at his friend, but was just trying to understand what happened.
“I’m crying right now,” Bach tweeted. “I feel the same emotions as when my dad died. I never knew such anger. But a frown is just a smile turned upside down. See you tonight, Winnipeg. ”
Bach also posted an emotional video tribute to his late friend revealing he found out about Vinnie’s death when he got off stage from playing a show in Canada and someone showed him the news on their cell phone. Bach broke down in tears as he described his 30-year friendship with Vinnie Paul.
“I love you Vinnie this one’s for you,” Sebastian said as he raised a glass of wine to his late friend.
You can Sebastian Bach’s emotional tribute to Vinnie Paul below.