James Hetfield
Name: James Hetfield
Occupation: Metal Singer
Gender: Male
Height: 185 cm (6' 1'')
Birth Day: August 3, 1963
Age: 57
Birth Place: Downey, United States
Zodiac Sign: Leo

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James Hetfield

James Hetfield was born on August 3, 1963 in Downey, United States (57 years old). James Hetfield is a Metal Singer, zodiac sign: Leo. Nationality: United States. Approx. Net Worth: $300 Million. With the net worth of $300 Million, James Hetfield is the #1629 richest person on earth all the time in our database.

Brief Info

Co-founder of the Grammy Award-winning heavy metal band Metallica who was named the eighth greatest metal guitarist by Joel Mclver in 2009. He is joined in Metallica by bassist Robert Trujillo, drummer Lars Ulrich and guitarist Kirk Lee Hammett


He observed his mother die of cancer without medicine when he was sixteen because of her strong belief in Christian Science, an event that inspired the Metallica song "The God That Failed." 

Net Worth 2020

$300 Million
Find out more about James Hetfield net worth here.

Family Members

# Name Relationship Net Worth Salary Age Occupation
#1 Christopher Hale Brother N/A N/A N/A
#2 David Hale David Hale Brother $1 Million - $2 Million (Approx.) N/A 33 Baseball Player
#3 Marcella Francesca Hetfield Daughter N/A N/A N/A
#4 Cali Tee Hetfield Daughter N/A N/A N/A
#5 Virgil Hetfield Father N/A N/A N/A
#6 Cynthia Hetfield Mother N/A N/A N/A
#7 Deanna Hetfield Sister N/A N/A N/A
#8 Castor Virgil Hetfield Son N/A N/A N/A
#9 Francesca Hetfield Spouse N/A N/A N/A
#10 Cali Hetfield $1 Million - $2 Million (Approx.) N/A 22 Celebrity Family Member


Height Weight Hair Colour Eye Colour Blood Type Tattoo(s)
185 cm (6' 1'') N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

Before Fame

His favorite band growing up was Aerosmith, from whom he drew inspiration to learn the guitar. He learned how to play guitar, bass, and piano. 


Biography Timeline


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. This upbringing became the inspiration for many of Hetfield's lyrics during his career with Metallica, most notably in the songs "Dyers Eve" and "The God That Failed" from ...And Justice for All and Metallica respectively. Cynthia died of cancer in 1979 when Hetfield was 16 years old. After the death of his mother, Hetfield went to live with his older half-brother David. Virgil died in late 1996, during Metallica's Load tour. Hetfield attended Downey High School for his freshman and sophomore years and graduated from Brea Olinda High School in 1981.


From 1982 to 1983, Mustaine's overly aggressive behavior and drinking problems led to mounting tensions between himself and Hetfield. Mustaine also once poured beer onto McGovney's bass nearly causing serious damage. On April 1, 1983, the band recruited lead guitarist Kirk Hammett from the band Exodus, and 10 days later, Hetfield and Ulrich officially fired Mustaine from the band due to his erratic indifference. Mustaine was sent home on a 4-day bus journey from New York to Los Angeles, and went on to form the heavy metal band Megadeth.


In the early days of the band, Metallica experimented with a few different vocals and guitar combinations, essentially creating a setup similar to that of British metal band Diamond Head, another major influence on Hetfield. Some of the options considered included adding another guitar player, having John Roads play lead guitar, as well as asking John Bush from Armored Saint (who later joined Anthrax) to sing for the band. The finalized line-up of the band became Hetfield (lead vocals and rhythm guitar), Lars Ulrich (drums), Dave Mustaine (lead guitar), and Ron McGovney (bass) who was soon replaced by Cliff Burton. Hetfield referred to their early sound as power metal. The term "thrash metal" was first used when Kerrang journalist Malcolm Dome described the Anthrax song "Metal Thrashing Mad" in an issue of Kerrang in February 1984.


Throughout Metallica's career, Hetfield has used a wide range of different amplifiers. For the first two albums, he used Marshall heads and cabinets, with occasional effects. The specific Marshall that he used for Kill 'Em All was stolen after a concert prior to the recording of Ride the Lightning; Hetfield was extremely upset by the theft, as his mother had helped him purchase the amplifier before her death. In 1985, for the recording of Master of Puppets, he and Kirk Hammett each bought a Mesa/Boogie Mark IIC+ amplifier (the preamp sections of which were connected to Marshall power amplifiers), and since then he has mostly used Mesa/Boogies, including the Triaxis and Rectifier models. Around the time of St. Anger, Hetfield began using the Diezel VH4 head. The majority of his clean tones come from a Roland JC-120 Jazz Chorus Guitar Amplifier, although many different amplifiers have been used over the years.


Hetfield has been involved in a number of onstage accidents, most notable for being an incident with pyrotechnics at Olympic Stadium in Montreal during the Guns N' Roses/Metallica Stadium Tour on August 8, 1992. Hetfield was the victim of a pyrotechnics accident during the song "Fade to Black", in which a pyrotechnic charge reacted. Hetfield's guitar protected him from the full force of the blast; however, the reaction struck his left side, burning his hand, arm, eyebrows, face and hair. He suffered second and third-degree burns, but was back on stage 17 days later, although his guitar duties were delegated to former guitar tech and Metal Church guitarist John Marshall for four weeks while he made a full recovery.

Hetfield has a number of tattoos, including one which shows flames encasing four playing cards – ace (1), 9, 6, and 3 – representing the year of his birth, and the words "Carpe Diem" ("seize the day"). The flames on the tattoo are in reference to the pyrotechnic accident which he suffered in 1992 during a concert in Montreal. He has tattooed an "M" and "81" on his right hand for "Metallica" and the year Metallica was founded, 1981, and an "F" on his left hand for "Francesca". He also has some Christian tattoos, including crosses and one of Jesus on his right arm. He has a tattoo of two razors forming the straight edge X symbol on his left wrist.


Hetfield married Francesca Tomasi on August 17, 1997, and together they have three children. He currently resides in Vail, Colorado, citing a "multitude of reasons" for moving there, including it being his wife's childhood hometown, the natural beauty, and the quiet environment. During an interview on NPR's Fresh Air, Hetfield stated that his wife had helped him to mature and learn to deal with his anger issues more constructively, explaining that after they met, his destructive tendencies embarrassed both of them. Hetfield has long struggled with addiction problems. In 2001, he entered a rehab program (documented in the film Metallica: Some Kind of Monster), and began maintaining total abstinence from alcohol. In a 2010 interview with So What!, the official magazine of Metallica's fan club, Hetfield stated that he is a "reborn straight edge". However, in 2019, Hetfield once again entered rehab, forcing Metallica to cancel their Australia/New Zealand leg of the WorldWired Tour. Hetfield made his first public appearance since leaving rehab at the Petersen Automotive Museum reception on January 30, 2020.


During the recording of the band's eighth studio album St. Anger in 2001, Hetfield went into rehab to address his alcohol usage. He rejoined the band after seven months in rehab and four months recovering with his family. His health problems are featured in Some Kind of Monster. Some Kind of Monster also shows the making of the St. Anger album, and documents the various conflicts and issues the band were facing at the time including the departure of Jason Newsted, alcoholism, family commitments, and the future of the band.


Hetfield has expressed his disdain for politics and celebrities who "soapbox their opinions", stating that "for us, people are people – you should all have your own opinion". In 2007, Metallica performed at London's Live Earth concert. When Hetfield was asked for his thoughts on climate change, he responded by saying:


Hetfield and Metallica addressed their need for a new bassist by recruiting Robert Trujillo, who formerly served under the wing of Ozzy Osbourne. Ozzy Osbourne recruited Jason Newsted shortly after Trujillo's transfer. The new line-up has continued to make music and tour worldwide. Metallica's ninth studio album, Death Magnetic, was released on September 12, 2008. Like St. Anger and every album of original material released by Metallica since 1991's Metallica, Death Magnetic went to #1 on the Billboard charts in over 30 countries during its first week of release.

In 2008, he made comments which were perceived as endorsing the use of his music at Guantánamo Bay to torture prisoners. British band Chumbawamba subsequently released a song called "Torturing James Hetfield", as a direct response.


On April 4, 2009, Hetfield, along with remaining Metallica members Ulrich, Hammett, Trujillo, as well as former bassist Newsted, and the deceased Cliff Burton (who was represented by his father), were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In an interview after their nomination, Hetfield commented that everyone who had appeared on an album with the band would be inducted. This excluded original guitarist Dave Mustaine and original bassist Ron McGovney, as both had appeared only on the band's early demo tapes. Hetfield and the rest of Metallica, including Newsted, performed "Master of Puppets" and "Enter Sandman" to end the ceremony.


In 2010, a Line 6 effects unit was added to the list, along with the TC Electronic unit, perhaps indicating that this had replaced his stompboxes.


In December 2011, it was announced by Fortin Amps that they would team up with Randall Amplifiers to start a new line of tube amplifiers based on the Fortin Meathead amplifier. Kirk Hammett currently has two prototypes, and Hetfield will eventually be receiving one.

🎂 Upcoming Birthday

Currently, James Hetfield is 58 years, 5 months and 16 days old. James Hetfield will celebrate 59th birthday on a Wednesday 3rd of August 2022.

Find out about James Hetfield birthday activities in timeline view here.


  1. James is of German, English, and Scottish origin.
  2. James Hetfield gave his Chevrolet Camaro to the Hard Rock Café.
  3. James Hetfield loves staying active, with the variety of occupations being opened in front of him, like hunting, customizing vehicles, as well as farming.
  4. In 2002, James Hetfield started taking care of his health undergoing the rehab course. James Hetfield states that he is now a follower of the straight edge movement.
  5. What was his most powerful inspiration? 
    When creating “The God That Failed,” he thought of his parents who died denying the medical intrusion believing that God would save them.
  6. When did he start taking lessons in playing musical instruments? 
    James Hetfield turned 9 when he began learning how to play the piano. Then he embarked on performing on drums, and a guitar.
  7. Who was his influence in childhood? 
    The work of the Aerosmith band left a great impact on the ideas of James when he was a child. There are also other groups he loved most of all in his youth, for instance, AC/DC, Iron Maiden, Deep Purple, and many others.
  8. Has he got tattoos? 
    James Hetfield has several tattoos inked on his body. The most remarkable is the range of four cards set in flame. This is regarded as a reference to the accident that happened to the musician in 1992. James also has crosses tattooed on his arm.

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