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James Hetfield Biography

Birth Name:
James Alan Hetfield
Birth Place:
Downey, California, United States
Rock singer, guitarist

Fast Facts

  • Parents were devout Christian Scientists
  • Played in several hard rock groups as a teenager, including Obsession, Phantom Lord and Leather Charm
  • Cofounded Metallica with drummer Lars Ulrich in 1981; the band released its debut, landmark thrash album Kill 'Em All, in 1983
  • Rose to international fame with Metallica's 1991 self-titled album, which sold more than 14 million copies and featured the hits "Enter Sandman" and "Nothing Else Matters
  • " Was badly burned in a pyrotechnic accident during a 1992 Metallica concert
  • Provided a rare look into his personal life with the acclaimed documentary Some Kind of Monster (2004), which dealt with intra-band struggles during the making of Metallica's St
  • Anger (2003)
  • Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Metallica in 2009
  • Is an avid hot rod and motorcycle enthusiast


  • Cali Tee Hetfield -- Daughter
  • Marcella Francesca Hetfield -- Daughter
  • Virgil Hetfield -- Father
  • David -- Half Brother
  • Cynthia Hetfield -- Mother
  • Castor Virgil Hetfield -- Son
  • Francesca Hetfield -- Wife