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Metallica is an American heavy metal band formed in Los Angeles, California. The band was formed in 1981 when vocalist/guitarist James Hetfield responded to an advertisement posted by drummer Lars Ulrich in a local newspaper. Metallica's current line-up comprises founding members Hetfield and Ulrich, longtime lead guitarist Kirk Hammett and bassist Robert Trujillo. Guitarist Dave Mustaine and bassists Ron McGovney, Cliff Burton and Jason Newsted are former members of the band.
The band's fast tempos, instrumentals, and aggressive musicianship placed them as one of the founding "big four" bands of thrash metal, alongside Anthrax, Megadeth, and Slayer. Metallica earned a growing fan base in the underground music community and won critical acclaim with its first four albums; their third album Master of Puppets (1986) was described as one of the most influential and heaviest of thrash metal albums. The band expanded its musical direction and achieved substantial commercial success with its eponymous fifth album Metallica (1991), which resulted in an album that appealed to a more mainstream audience. The album was also their first to debut at number one on the Billboard 200, a success that they also achieved on their following four studio albums. In 2000, Metallica joined with other artists who filed a lawsuit against Napster for sharing the band's copyright-protected material without consent from the band. A settlement was reached and Napster became a pay-to-use service. The release of St. Anger (2003) alienated fans with the exclusion of guitar solos and the "steel-sounding" snare drum, and a film titled Some Kind of Monster documented the recording of St. Anger and the tensions within the band during that time. The band returned to its original musical style with the release of Death Magnetic (2008), and in 2009, Metallica was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Metallica has released nine studio albums, four live albums, five extended plays, 26 music videos, and 37 singles. The band has won eight Grammy Awards and five of its albums have consecutively debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. The band's eponymous 1991 album has sold over 16 million copies in the United States, making it the best-selling album of the SoundScan era. Metallica ranks as one of the most commercially successful bands of all time, having sold over 110 million records worldwide.Metallica has been listed as one of the greatest artists of all time by many magazines, including Rolling Stone, which ranked them 61st on its list of The 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.As of December 2012, Metallica is the third-best-selling music artist since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking sales in 1991, selling a total of 54.26 million albums in the U.S.Metallica collaborated over a long period with producer Bob Rock, who produced four of the band's studio albums between 1990 and 2003 and served as a temporary bassist during the production of St. Anger. In 2012, Metallica formed the independent record label Blackened Recordings and took full ownership of its albums and videos. The band is currently promoting its tenth studio album, Hardwired... to Self-Destruct, which is expected to be released on November 18, 2016.
James Hetfield – lead vocals, rhythm guitar (1981–present)
James Alan Hetfield (born August 3, 1963) is an American musician, singer and songwriter 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 some solos, both live and in the studio. Hetfield co-founded Metallica in October 1981 after answering a classified advertisement by drummer Lars Ulrich in the Los Angeles newspaper The Recycler. Metallica has won nine Grammy Awards and released nine 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 ranked at 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.
Kirk Hammett – lead guitar, backing vocals (1983–present)
Kirk Lee Hammett (born November 18, 1962) is the lead guitarist and contributing songwriter for the heavy metal band Metallica and has been a member of the band since 1983. Before joining Metallica he formed and named the band Exodus. In 2003, Hammett was ranked 11th on Rolling Stone's list of The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.In 2009, Hammett was ranked number 15 in Joel McIver's book The 100 Greatest Metal Guitarists.
Robert Trujillo – bass, backing vocals (2003–present)
Roberto Agustin Trujillo (Spanish pronunciation: [roˈβerto tɾuˈxiʎo]; born October 23, 1964),better known as Robert Trujillo, is an American musician known for his role as the current bassist of heavy metal band Metallica. He also was a member of crossover thrash metal band Suicidal Tendencies, funk metal supergroup Infectious Grooves, heavy metal band Black Label Society, and he has worked with Jerry Cantrell from the grunge band Alice in Chains, and Black Sabbath lead singer Ozzy Osbourne. He is currently touring intermittently with experimental metal group Mass Mental.
Lars Ulrich – drums, percussion (1981–present)
Lars Ulrich (/ˈʌlrɪk/ ul-rik; Danish: [lɑːs ˈulˀʁæɡ̊]; born December 26, 1963) is a Danish drummer and one of the founding members of the American heavy metal band Metallica. He was born in Gentofte, Denmark to an upper-middle-class family.A tennis player in his youth (he is the son of former tennis pro Torben Ulrich), Ulrich moved to Los Angeles at age sixteen in the summer of 1980 to train in the sport of tennis. However, rather than playing tennis, he began playing the drums. After publishing an advertisement in a local classified ads newspaper called The Recycler, Ulrich met James Hetfield and formed Metallica.
Dave Mustaine – lead guitar, backing vocals (1982–1983)
David Scott "Dave" Mustaine (born September 13, 1961) is an American musician, singer, songwriter, actor and author. He is best known as the co-founder, guitarist, and lead singer of the American thrash metal band Megadeth, and well known as the original lead guitarist for the American thrash metal band Metallica.
Ron McGovney – bass, backing vocals (1982)
Ronald "Ron" McGovney (born November 2, 1962) is a semi-retired American musician, best known as the original bassist in the heavy metal band Metallica from October 1981 to December 1982.
Having previously played with guitarist James Hetfield in the garage band Leather Charm, McGovney was a member of Metallica during its first year of gigging and appeared on their early demos before departing late in 1982. After a period of inactivity, he later played in the thrash metal band Phantasm.
Cliff Burton – bass, backing vocals (1982–1986; died 1986)
Clifford Lee "Cliff" Burton (February 10, 1962 – September 27, 1986) was an American musician, best known as the second bass guitarist for the American thrash metal band Metallica from December 1982 until his death in September 1986.
Burton joined Metallica in 1982 and performed on the band's first three studio albums: Kill 'Em All, Ride the Lightning and Master of Puppets. He also received a posthumous writing credit for the song "To Live Is to Die" from the band's fourth studio album, ...And Justice for All.
On September 27, 1986, Burton was killed in a bus accident in Kronoberg County, a rural area of southern Sweden, as the band was touring in support of the Master of Puppets album. Burton was replaced by bassist Jason Newsted the following month. He was also posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with Metallica on April 4, 2009. He was selected as the ninth greatest bassist of all time in an online reader poll organized by Rolling Stone magazine in 2011.
Jason Newsted – bass, backing vocals (1986–2001)
Jason Curtis Newsted (born March 4, 1963) is an American metal musician, known for being the third bass guitarist with the band Metallica from October 1986 until his departure in January 2001, he was also a part of Voivod and Flotsam and Jetsam. Joining Metallica in 1986 after Cliff Burton's death, Newsted remained a member until 2001. He continued with his project Echobrain, played with Ozzy Osbourne and joined heavy metal band Voivod. Newsted uses the pseudonym Jasonic, which serves as both his alias in Voivod and the name of his music publishing company. He is also the founder of the Chophouse Records studio and label based in California. From 2012 to 2014 he played in his self-titled band Newsted, for which he provided lead vocals as well as bass.
Bob Rock – bass, backing vocals (2001–2003)
Robert Jens "Bob" Rock (born 19 April 1954) is a Canadian musician, sound engineer, and record producer best known for producing bands and artists such as The Tragically Hip, Aerosmith, The Cult, Bon Jovi, Mötley Crüe, 311, Metallica, Our Lady Peace, Bryan Adams, The Offspring, Michael Bublé, Black Veil Brides and Ron Sexsmith.
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