James Hetfield, lead vocalist for the world-famous band Metallica, has been making headlines for his charity work. His most recent adventure was with his daughter, Cali. The pair sang for the all-star Acoustic-4-A-Cure benefit concert in San Francisco. He was beaming at his daughter as they performed the song, Crazy for You. Sammy Haggar and Hetfield created the charity, which is now in its second season. Cali came to the stage as a shy sixteen-year-old. When her father introduced her, it was obvious stage freight had hit her as she stood facing the audience, unable to speak. Her father then guided her through her introduction. However, once the performance started, young Cali lit up the stage. Pat Monahan of Train, Chad Smith of Red Hot Chili Peppers and Adam Sandler also made guest appearances and performed at the event. Acoustic-4-A-Cure, made a promise of a truly a once-in-a -lifetime experience with hopes of raising money and awareness for the Pediatric Cancer Program at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, and delivered on their promise.
Hetfield started his long-standing career with Metallica when he happened upon a classified ad posted by the band’s drummer, Lars Ulrich. The duo met and co-founded the legendary band in October 1981. He is not only lead vocalist, but he is also the rhythm guitarist, main songwriter and lyricist. Metallica came onto the heavy metal scene and has been a major presence ever since. The band has won Grammy awards for their unique sound and lyrics. Among his many accomplishments was being ranked 24th on Hit Parader’s list of the 100 greatest metal vocalists of all time.
Fame was not on Hetfield’s mind when he co-founded Metallica. He did not want to be lead vocalist. Metallica went through several vocalists, and even borrowed the lead vocalist from Armored Saint, John Bush. Hetfield continued to write the lyrics and play guitar. The band went through several singers and vocalists before he came to the realization that he was the vocalist that would make their band take off. He is now the face and the voice of the band. His fierce devotion to the band has been proven time and time again. In the 2000 tour, Sanitarium, Hetfield threw his back out. Despite the pain, he underwent over three weeks of physical therapy in four days and finished the tour with fervor.
The band has had a whirlwind success story. The huge success of their third album and the record’s first music video, One, took the band to new heights, but in 2008, their eighth album, Death Magnet, took some hits. They had experimented with a different sound and it was apparent by the low sales that the sound was not right for the band. When the album did not have the reviews of previous albums, the band was in danger of folding. After the failure of Death Magnet, he went back the roots of the band and Metallica should be back on track. The eleventh album is planned but no work has been confirmed to have started.
Hetfield is extremely busy being the lead vocalist, main songwriter and guitarist, but yet he still finds time to be a true family man. His wife of 18 years, Francesca, along with their three children, Cali, Castor and Marcella, have been a hugely supportive factor, even through his stint in rehab for his drug addiction. The family showed their support by being in the front row, clapping and supporting him, who surprised his daughter at his benefit by having her take the stage to perform.
By Sherry Raymond
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Biography.com: James Hetfield
Top Photo Courtesy of Metallica’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Featured Photo Courtesy of Rosibel Hetfield’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License