Yesterday (Aug. 3), Metallica singer and guitarist James Hetfield turned 58 years old and his bandmate, drummer Lars Ulrich, extended a happy birthday message his way on social media, celebrating decades of good times while stating they were "just getting started."

Hetfield was born on Aug. 3, 1963 in Downey, California and began playing in bands as a teenager, notably Leather Charm and Obsession, before linking up with Lars Ulrich to form Metallica in the fall of 1981 after the drummer had secured a song spot on an upcoming Metal Blade compilation, Metal Massacre.

Ever since, Hetfield and Ulrich have served as the chief creative forces in Metallica, which has led to unfathomed success — over 125 million albums sold worldwide — and Ulrich reflected on all of it in a brief but warm message, as seen below, alongside a photo of the two dressed in black robes, grimacing in front of the camera as legendary photographer Ross Halfin captured the image.

It’s all about the attitude!!
Happy Birthday James 🎉
Here’s to nearly 40 years of crazy cool shenanigans of every kind imaginable…..including an occasional raised middle finger, a little mugging for the camera
……and lotsa attitude!
Wouldn’t have it any other way.
And as we always have to remember….
Just getting started!
Love you brother.

The "just getting started" notion is a bit of a stretch, but it speaks to the fact that Metallica are hardly slowing down. Although in recent years they'd been aiming to only play around 50 shows a year (when live shows are a more regular occurrence than they have been amid the pandemic) , it is known that new material has been worked on since the pandemic started and there's almost always something else going on outside of current matters.

On the immediate horizon is the 30th anniversary reissue of Metallica's historic self-titled 1991 album, better known as the 'Black Album,' as well as a 53-artist The Metallica Blacklist covers compilation featuring only songs that make up the aforementioned record.

A black and white, era-specific photo book will also be released this fall and a four-decade retrospective titled The $24.95 Book is set to arrive this summer.

Lars Ulrich's Happy Birthday Message to James Hetfield

Rock Stars Celebrating Birthdays in August

Blow out the candles on these birthdays!

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