James Hetfield, the singer and rhythm guitarist of heavy metal band Metallica, has entered a rehabilitation center for treatment of alcoholism.
In a note to fans on the band's Web site, Metallica said it will delay work on its latest album "to give James the time and privacy he needs to deal with his problems."
Hetfield, 37, is married and has two children.
Metallica — and the excesses of its members — have been a notorious part of the heavy metal scene since the group formed in 1981. Since then, the Bay Area band has become one of the most successful rock acts of the past 20 years.
Metallica's highly publicized lawsuit against Napster helped precipitate the song-swapping Web site's ongoing legal woes.