Metallica’s James Hetfield Gets Emotional Live on Stage in Front of 60,000 People: This Is How His Bandmates Reacted

There’s this misconception that the rock star lifestyle is what all of us would be envious of. Although there certainly are fun aspects to it, the whole rock ‘n’ roll image is usually just the façade. Beneath the surface and all the superficial things that we see is another human being, often feeling a ton of pressure.

In recent years, we’ve seen plenty of celebrities known for their “tough guy” image finally open up and show their sensitive side. And that’s what happened with Metallica frontman James Hetfield during one of the band’s recent shows.

Taking the stage in Belo Horizonte at Estádio do Mineirão on May 12, the band was just about to start playing “Sad But True,” when James thanked the 60,000 people in attendance and said this (transcript via Blabbermouth):

“I’ve gotta tell you I wasn’t feeling very good before I came out here. [I was] feeling a little bit insecure, like I’m an old guy, [I] can’t play anymore — all this bullshit that I tell myself in my head. So I talked to these guys, and they helped me — as simple as that. They gave me a hug and said, ‘Hey, if you’re struggling on stage, we’ve got your back.’ And I tell you, it means the world to me.”

At that point, all three of James’s bandmates approached the singer and once again gave him a heartfelt group hug, with Hetfield visibly touched by the gesture. He then once again addressed the audience, telling them:

The frontman was then joined by the rest of the band who supported him with a big hug, sparking a very positive reaction from the whole audience. James then added:

 “And seeing you out there, I… I am not alone. I am not alone, and neither are you.”

You can check out the whole thing in embedded players below.

James Hetfield se emociona, durante show no Mineirão
Metallica - Sad But True - Mineirão, Belo Horizonte Brazil

Back in September 2019, Metallica shared an official statement, revealing that James was once again struggling with addiction. After the musician decided to re-enter rehab, Metallica canceled their upcoming tour dates. James made the first public appearance after rehab in January 2020.

Photo: DoD News Features (James Hetfield (2) – Concert for Valor in Washington, D.C. Nov. 11, 2014), YouTube screenshot


  • David Slavkovic

    David always planned for music to be nothing more than a hobby. However, after a short career as an agricultural engineer he ended up news editor at KillerGuitarRigs, senior editor at, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor.