Metallica Frontman James Hetfield Enters Rehab; Band Postpones Australian Tour

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Who Is James Hetfield? New Details On Legendary Metallica Singer As He Enters Rehab

As hard as it is to believe, there are people on God's Green Earth who have absolutely no idea who James Hetfield is. So, for the benefit of those of you who have lived under a rock for the past 30 years, this post is for you, and it will answer the question once and for all: who is James Hetfield?

Considered one of the greatest guitarists — and greatest vocalists — of all time by such magazines as Rolling Stone, Thrasher Magazine and Hit Parader, James Alan Hetfield has, alongside drummer Lars Ulrich and guitarist Kirk Hammett, served as the backbone for Metallica, one of the greatest heavy metal bands of all time. Under the tutelage of Hetfield and Ulrich, Metallica went on to make history, a band considered one of the "Big Four" founding bands of thrash metal. (The other three include Anthrax, Slayer and Megadeth — the latter of which was founded by Dave Mustaine, himself a former member of Metallica)

In between making history as a founding member of Metallica, Hetfield has fancied himself as a sometime actor. He's provided voices on such shows as Metalocalypse and Space Ghost Coast to Coast, and currently has a recurring role as Wolfgang on the Netflix show, Skylanders Academy. He also had a bit part on the Netflix film Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, in which he played Lt. Bob Hayward opposite Zac Efron's Ted Bundy. 

In short, James Hetfield is the mother-effin' man, and shame on you for not knowing who he is. 

But let's look at what we know about this titan of rock. 

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1. He made the news recently because of his return to rehab. 

According to Fox News, James Hetfield recently made the news because he re-entered rehab. The outlet reports that as a result of his relapse, Metallica was forced to cancel their tour dates in Australia and New Zealand. 

2. James Hetfield has helped several other musicians with their own sobriety issues. 

Lamb of God singer Randy Blythe recently told Blabbermouth that James Hetfield was instrumental in "saving his life," especially when it comes to his sobriety. "I got sober while we were on tour with Metallica almost 9 years ago. The first day of that run, one of my crew guys came to me and said 'Hey, Hetfield's looking for you' — we had been touring with them in the States & Europe for over a year and I was just RAGING, especially in Europe, but inside I was MISERABLE. He knew I had been trying to quit drinking, it wasn't working for me anymore, & it all came to an end in Australia," he said. 

3. Former members of Metallica have expressed their concern for Hetfield.

Despite the fact that it's been more than 30 years since Ron McGovney has been a bassist for Metallica, he said that he has nothing but love for his former lead singer. "James Hetfield has been a friend of mine long before Metallica. I always looked up to him as a musician even when we were in high school. If he needs anything, he has my number. I have been sober for 2 years. It's not easy. I'm with you big guy," he said.

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4. Even bands that toured with Metallica expressed concern for James Hetfield. 

Jamey Jasta, the lead singer of Hatebreed, took to Instagram to share his concern for the lead singer. Hatebreed, as metal fans will recall, got their start by going on tour with Metallica. "No tour or album or mountain of obligations is worth diving back into the abyss of booze & drugs. Energy is real and if you’re going to put it out either online or in-person I ask that you please put out positive energy for James. Sure there are people who can cut loose every so often & bounce back but for others, even 1 drink can lead to decisions that snowball into a destructive avalanche," he said, while also adding that Hetfield helped him remain sober.

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5. Slipknot was scheduled to open Metallica's recent tour, but there are no hard feelings. 

Metal Injection reports that while Slipknot was scheduled to open Metallica's most recent tour, there are no hard feelings between the bands because of the tour cancellation. In fact, Slipknot acknowledges that it's more important to get sober than it is to tour! 

6. It's unclear when Metallica will go back on the road. 

According to Live for Live Music, it's unclear when Metallica will go back on the road. What is clear, however, is that fans who purchased their tickets for the now-cancelled Metallica tour can receive a full refund at their point of purchase. Our thoughts are with James Hetfield, and we hope that the Mighty Het gets well soon!

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Bernadette Giacomazzo is an editor, writer, and photographer whose work has appeared in People, Teen Vogue, Us Weekly, The Source, XXL, HipHopDX, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, and more. She is also the author of The Uprising series. For more information about Bernadette Giacomazzo, click here.