Vinnie Paul Abbott's cause of death has been revealed. The 54-year-old PANTERA and HELLYEAH drummer died of dilated cardiomyopathy — an enlarged heart — as well as severe coronary artery disease, a heart condition. Clark County Coroner John Fudenberg told TMZ he died of natural causes.
Dilated cardiomyopathy results in is a chronic weakening of the heart muscle, typically the main pumping chamber (or left ventricle). The ventricle stretches and thins (dilates) and can't pump blood as well as a healthy heart can.
Vinnie Paul was buried on June 30 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 by KISS members Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley. The casket was offered as a gift at Vinnie's family's request. Vinnie was also buried in some of his trademark clothes, including his hat, shoes and flannel.
Speakers at the service included former GRIM REAPER guitarist Nick Bowcott and SiriusXM DJ Jose Mangin. Also appearing at the event were original KISS guitarist Ace Frehley, DISTURBED's David Draiman, NICKELBACK's Chad Kroeger, ANTHRAX's Charlie Benante, FOZZY's Chris Jericho and ROUGH CUTT's Paul Shortino.
According to TMZ, Vinnie Paul left the bulk of his estate to to his best friend and longtime girlfriend; Charles Jones will get 38% while Chelsey Yeager will walk away with 37%. The rest is split between Vinnie's tour manager (10%), drum tech (5%), producer (5%) and friend (5%). In addition, Vinnie is giving his interest in Dimebag's estate to the guitarist's longtime girlfriend, Rita Haney.
Vinnie's brother was buried in the original Kiss Kasket prototype in 2004 after his untimely death. The coffin featured the faces of the four founding members of KISS, the KISS logo and the words "Kiss Forever." Both Abbotts were huge fans, especially Darrell, who was shot dead by a gunman in December 2004.
A public memorial for Vinnie Paul was held on July 1 at Bomb Factory in Dallas, Texas.
Vinnie passed away on June 22 at his home in Las Vegas. He had reportedly finished laying down drum tracks for the next HELLYEAH album, although there is no word yet on when that LP will see the light of day.