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Dimebag’s longtime girlfriend Rita Haney joined PANTERA on stage at the band’s recent Houston concert

Rita Haney, the enduring partner of the late “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott, the guitarist of the renowned band PANTERA, along with Randy Blythe, the lead vocalist of LAMB OF GOD, made a remarkable appearance on Thursday, August 17. This exceptional event took place at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion located in The Woodlands, Texas. During this performance, they took the stage together to deliver a rendition of PANTERA‘s timeless track, “Walk.” A video captured by a fan captures this memorable moment, and you can watch it below.

Back in the mid-1980s, Dimebag and his brother, drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott, came together in Texas to establish the iconic band PANTERA. Initially, the band produced four independent albums, but it was their major label debut in 1990 with “Cowboys From Hell” that marked a shift to a more intense sound, winning the hearts of metal enthusiasts. Their 1994 release, “Far Beyond Driven,” even managed to claim the No. 1 spot on The Billboard 200 chart, all without the boost of a commercial hit single. Nevertheless, internal strife led to the band’s dissolution in 2002, coinciding with the departure of their dynamic lead singer, Philip Anselmo.

Afterwards, Dime and Vinnie joined forces once more to form DAMAGEPLAN, which saw the release of their inaugural album, “New Found Power,” in February of 2004. Tragically, on December 8, 2004, Dimebag’s life was cut short when he was shot on stage during a DAMAGEPLAN concert at the Alrosa Villa club in Columbus, Ohio. The perpetrator, a former Marine named Nathan Gale, took the lives of four individuals and wounded three others before being neutralized by police officer James D. Niggemeyer, who arrived promptly on the scene.

At the time of the shooting, DAMAGEPLAN was in the midst of a tour promoting “New Found Power.”

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In 2011, Rita Haney urged Vinnie and Anselmo to put their grievances aside in honor of Dimebag‘s memory. Since the split of PANTERA in 2003, Vinnie and Anselmo had not communicated. Tensions escalated when Vinnie indirectly suggested that some of Philip‘s remarks about Dimebag in the media shortly before the incident might have incited the tragedy.

Haney shared that she had forgiven Philip during a coincidental encounter at a concert in California, as revealed during the production of “Behind The Music Remastered: Pantera.”

The reconstituted PANTERA launched their headlining U.S. tour with LAMB OF GOD on July 28, commencing at The Pavilion at Star Lake in Burgettstown, Pennsylvania.

The 2023 iteration of PANTERA features a dynamic lineup that includes two enduring members from the band’s classic formation: Anselmo and Rex Brown, handling the bass duties. Joining them are accomplished guitarist Zakk Wylde (known for his roles in OZZY OSBOURNE and BLACK LABEL SOCIETY) and skilled drummer Charlie Benante (renowned for his work with ANTHRAX).

Together, Anselmo, Brown, Wylde, and Benante are set to headline numerous prestigious festivals spanning South America, Asia, North America, and Europe. Additionally, they are slated to host a series of standalone headline concerts, showcasing their formidable talents to enthusiastic audiences worldwide. Notably, they will also be providing support for METALLICA during an expansive North American stadium tour scheduled for both 2023 and 2024.

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