|Birth Name||James Alan Hetfield|
|Born||August 3, 1963 Downey, California, U.S.|
|Genres||Heavy metal, thrash metal, hard rock, speed metal|
|Associated acts||Metallica, Spastik Children, Leather Charm|
James Alan Hetfield (born August 3, 1963) is an American musician and songwriter best known for being the co-founder, lead vocalist/rhythm guitarist and main songwriter for the American heavy metal band Metallica. Hetfield is mainly known for his intricate rhythm playing, but occasionally performs lead guitar duties and solos, both live and in the studio.
James Hetfield co-founded Metallica in October 1981 after answering an advertisement by drummer Lars Ulrich in the Los Angeles newspaper The Recycler. Metallica has won nine Grammy Awards and released ten studio albums, three live albums, four extended plays and 24 singles.
In 2009, Hetfield was ranked at no. 8 in Joel McIver’s book The 100 Greatest Metal Guitarists and no. 24 by Hit Parader on their list of the 100 Greatest Metal Vocalists of All Time. In Guitar World’s poll, Hetfield was placed as the 19th greatest guitarist of all time, as well as being placed second (along with Metallica lead guitarist Kirk Hammett) in The 100 Greatest Metal Guitarists poll of the same magazine. Rolling Stone placed Hetfield as the 87th greatest guitarist of all time.
Hetfield was born on August 3, 1963 in Downey, California, the son of Cynthia Bassett (née Nourse), a light opera singer, and Virgil Lee Hetfield, a truck driver. He is of English, German, Irish, and Scottish descent. He has two older half-brothers from his mother’s first marriage and one younger sister. His parents divorced in 1976 when Hetfield was 13. They were very strict Christian Scientists, and in accordance with their beliefs, they strongly disapproved of medicine or any other medical treatment and remained loyal to their faith, even as Cynthia was dying from cancer.
Guitarists Through The Decades
Biographies on James Hetfield
So Let It Be Written
With James Hetfield at the helm, Metallica went from being thrash pioneers to heavy metal gods. He overcame adolescent upheaval and personal demons—including his parents’ divorce, his mother’s untimely death and severe alcoholism—to become metal’s biggest star. So Let It Be Written does justice to the many hats Hetfield has worn, with his strong leadership, signature vocal style, powerful guitar-playing and masterful songwriting.