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Metallica Tour on Hold as Frontman Enters Rehab

Band cancels performances in Australia, NZ as James Hetfield '[works] on his recovery again'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 28, 2019 6:00 AM CDT
In this Oct. 13, 2018, file photo, James Hetfield of Metallica performs in Austin, Texas.   (Photo by Amy Harris/Invision/AP, File)

(Newser) – Nothing else matters to the guys of Metallica except their lead singer getting better—which is why the band has announced it has nixed plans to tour in Australia and New Zealand, at least for the time being, TMZ reports. James Hetfield's bandmates posted a note on Twitter Friday night, saying they're "devastated" about postponing their run Down Under and explaining to fans how they can get their money back. "As most of you probably know, our brother James has been struggling with addiction on and off for many years," write Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett, and Rob Trujillo. "He has now, unfortunately, had to re-enter a treatment program to work on his recovery again."

The "again" in their statement references the 56-year-old's longtime struggles with addiction and substance abuse issues, which were detailed in the 2004 documentary Some Kind of Monster, per Rolling Stone. In 2016, Hetfield said he'd been sober for 15 years. "Fear was a big motivator in that for me," he noted then. "Losing my family, that was the thing that scared me so much, that was the bottom I hit." The band says it will reschedule the Aussie/New Zealand tour "as soon as health and schedule permit." A South Africa tour set for April still seems to be on, as is a benefit show in March in San Francisco. (Read more James Hetfield stories.)

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