Vinnie Paul, the drummer and co-founder of iconic heavy metal band Pantera, has died, according to "Billboard" and CNN. He was 54.

"Vincent Paul Abbott aka Vinnie Paul has passed away," the band announced on Facebook, adding: "The family requests you please respect their privacy during this time."

The cause of death was not immediately clear.

The son of the country songwriter Jerry Abbott, Paul, born Vincent Paul Abbott, was also the drummer for Hellyeah. He and his brother, guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, formed Pantera in the early 1980s and found mainstream success with singer Phil Anselmo.

Tributes started to pour in as news of Paul's death spread on social media.

KISS singer Paul Stanley took to Twitter and expressed his condolences.

"So sad to hear of the death of Vinnie Paul," the legendary rocker tweeted. "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."

Megadeath frontman Dave Mustaine was also saddened to hear about the death, tweeting: "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."