Imposter accounts are rampant across social media, and obviously, iconic musicians are among the most prevalent targets. (Just ask Mike Portnoy.) Unfortunately, it looks like James Hetfield is yet another victim, and he’s adamantly cautioning fans to be wary of such deceptions.

Yesterday (Jan. 14), the official Metallica Twitter account posted a triple-image statement from the fiery frontman that begins with, “Papa Het would love you to read this.” From there, Hetfield wrote:

There are people online that have assumed my identity, spreading misinformation, and have caused damage to other people. There are imposters and predators out there. This is out of my control, but it is in your control who you choose to connect with. Please be careful on socials and vet people before getting in contact with them.

To be clear…I am not on any social media forms, Facebook, Instagram, etc. The only connection I have with social media is through the official Metallica website and official Metallica socials. If you are following or communicating with someone who you think is or is portraying themselves as me…

It is not me.

I hope this helps those who have been or are getting deceived and are ashamed to talk about it.

With love and respect,
James ‘Papa Het’ Hetfield

You can view the post itself below:

Poignantly, many Metallica lovers replied to the post with not only general support but also specific requests for Hetfield to come back to social media. For instance, one fan stated, “We would love to have you on instagram. Miss you. Come back to Brazil soon!” while another replied: “Come back to Instagram Papa Het we love you!!!!!!!”

Other users offered more sarcastic responses (and understandably so). In particular, someone joked, “And here I was thinking James and I were meeting for drinks later tonight at Turtle Jack's. Bummer.” Similarly, another follower asked: “So does this mean he didn’t need my social security number for back stage Metallica passes?”

As for why Hetfield gave up his Instagram account in the first place, Blabbermouth’s transcription of his December 2016 chat with the Canadian Press gives some insights:

I got sucked into the social media around... I was trying to be hip, trying to be cool. You know, my kids are on Instagram [so I thought], “I wanna try this thing.” I just wanted to look like the cool dad to my kids. And I ended up being just... It was this huge time sucker, and that's all I was thinking about. “Oh, hey, I'm here. I can take a picture and put it on Instagram and get some hits,” or whatever, and trying to get many followers... But there is a good part to that — you know, there's actually people you can meet and converse with and get to know, and then when you get to their town, you're [like], “Wow, hey, you're here.” And you make a friend. But most of the time, it was just sucking my time, and I just started to neglect regular life. It was living in the cyber world, and it was not for me.

So – in case it needs to be reiterated – the next time you see someone suspiciously posing as Papa Het (or any other celebrity), use basic judgment and logic to see through their scams.

Something else you should do is keep an eye out for Metallica’s new album, 72 Seasons, which is set to release on April 14 via their own label, Blackened Recordings. Oh, and be sure to check out tickets for their upcoming “M72” World Tour, which kicks off on April 27 and runs through the end of September 2024. You can even purchase single-day tickets!

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