Vinnie Paul, the drummer and co-founder of heavy metal band Pantera, has died, the group announced in a statement on Facebook, The Guardian reports.
The Texas-born musician died aged 54 on Friday evening, but no cause of death has been given yet.
Paul formed Pantera in 1981 with his brother, “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott, and went on to earn four Grammy nominations and a No 1 album in the US in 1994.
The band disbanded in 2003 following reports of a rift in the group and its singer’s intention to leave.
“No further details are available at this time. The family requests you please respect their privacy during this time.”
Pantera’s platinum-selling album Vulgar Display of Power is considered one of the most influential heavy metal albums of the 90s, having sold more than 2m copies.
Paul and his brother Darrell Abbott, formed a new band Damageplan in 2004 after Pantera disbanded, but Darrell was murdered by a gunman during a concert in Columbus, Ohio later that year.
Artists from the wider rock and heavy metal scene have paid tribute to Paul.
The English-American rocker Slash tweeted:
Guns N’ Roses bass guitarist Duff McKagan also posted: “RIP Vinnie Paul. Friend. Humorist. Badass drummer. All-around good man. Condolences to the family. You will be missed bro…”
Rock group Papa Roach tweeted: “Gutted to hear about the nicest guy in metal passing. Vinnie Paul showed us nothing but love. We’ll miss you Vinnie.”
The lead singer of Megadeth, Dave Mustaine, added to the condolences: