James Hetfield enters rehab; Metallica cancels Australia-New Zealand tour

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The momentum of Metallica's recent appearance with SF Symphony Orchestra at the Chase Center's first event ever has hit a wall. Frontman James Hetfield has entered rehab and the band is cancelling Australia-New Zealand dates for the WorldWired Tour 2019

The announcement was made on Twitter Friday. It began as a "note from Lars [Ulrich], Kirk [Hammett], and Rob [Trujillo]." The band members said Hetfield has struggled with addiction for years. 

The band did not elaborate on what kind of addiction, but the 2004 documentary 'Some Kind of Monster' illustrates the 56-year-old California native's struggles with alcohol abuse. 

The heavy-metal band was scheduled to play five Australian cities from Oct. 17-29, followed by four shows in New Zealand. 

The band offered details on how fans can secure a full refund for the cancelled shows. The band Slipknot had been scheduled as special guests. %INLINE%

"We appreciate your understanding and support for James and thank you for being a part of our Metallica family," band members wrote. 

Metallica formed in Southern California nearly 40 years ago in 1981, but have been San Francisco based for most of their career. 

Associated Press contributed to this report.