Connect with us

The singer that James Hetfield said is the best of all time


The singer that James Hetfield said is the best of all time

Born in Downey, California back in 1963, James Hetfield grew up listening to Rock and Roll and had the chance to see many bands live in the late 70s and early 80s before he formed alongside Lars Ulrich their own group, Metallica. He saw the evolution especially of Heavy Metal up-close and contributed a lot for what the sub-genre would become in the 80s and 90s.


Besides being a praised songwriter and rhythm guitarist, Hetfield is also a unique vocalist that is the voice of one of the most successful bands of all time. Over the decades he talked about many of his heroes and peers, even revealing which is the best singer of all time in his opinion.

The singer that James Hetfield said is the best of all time

By the time Metallica released their debut album in 1983, Heavy Metal already existed for more than one decade and had became one of the most popular music genres in the world. Most part of the oldest groups had already achieved the peak of their careers at the time and had even gone through many line-up changes. Some musicians were even lucky enough to have been members of many different successful groups. One of them is the one that Hetfield chose as the greatest singer of all time.

Back in 2008 he was asked by Rolling Stone to do a list of the 20 greatest singers in history. In the first position the musician placed the late legendary Ronnie James Dio, who had entered Rock history as a member of Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath and from his own band Dio.

For Hetfield, the late vocalist was better than names like Freddie Mercury, Steven Tyler, Robert Plant, Bon Scott and Rob Halford, who were also listed by the Metallica frontman.

Ronnie James Dio died back in 2010 at the age of 67 victim of stomach cancer. But Hetfield had the chance to meet the legendary musician many times over the decades. They played together on festivals many times especially in the late 80s.

James Hetfield once asked Dio how he kept his voice in shape

Back in 2014, Metallica was part of the tribute album “Ronnie James Dio – This Is Your life”, made to honor Ronnie’s legacy. They recorded a medley called “Ronnie Rising Medley”. It had the Rainbow songs “A Light In The Black”, “Tarot Woman”, Stargazer” and “Kill The King”.

In an interview with Music Radar back in 2016, he talked about that experience of recording the medley. He also recalled when he asked Ronnie how he kept his voice in shape.

“When we did the Ronnie Dio tribute record. We did this medley of a bunch of different Dio songs. I just realized how fucking amazing that guy was and it pissed me off. Because when I met him I said, ‘Hey, can I hear your warmup tape? What do you do. What’s your secret to all of this?’”

“And he said, ‘Well, I just have a little glass of wine and go out and sing.’ What?! Yeah right! But I don’t think he was BS’ing me. He was just a natural singer. He had a range that had power all the way through it. And he just continues to challenge me which is great,” James Hetfield said.

Tribute to Dio during rehearsal after his death

Back in 2010 after Dio’s passing, Metallica shared on his official website a video of a rehearsal for a show in Portugal. During the warm-up they performed famous songs from the singer’s career. In the video the band performed parts of Rainbow’s “Rising”. Also the Black Sabbath tracks: “Heaven & Hell”, “Mob Rules”, “Children Of The Sea” and “Neon Knights”.

I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG

To Top