Metallica has postponed their previously announced tour of Australia and New Zealand so that frontman James Hetfield can enter rehab for alcohol addiction.

The band made the announcement on Friday (September 27) by posting this: "As most of you probably know, our brother James has been struggling with addiction on and off for many years. He has now, unfortunately, had to re-enter a treatment program to work on his recovery again."

It went on to read: "We fully intend to make our way to your part of the world as soon as health and schedule permit. We'll let you know as soon as we can. Once again, we are devastated that we have inconvenienced so many of you, especially our most loyal fans who travel great distances to experience our shows. We appreciate your understanding and support for James and, as always, thank you for being a part of our Metallica family."

According to Blabbermouth, in an interview in 2017, Hetfield talked about his previous entry into rehab, where he spent seven weeks. He said: "My wife did the right thing —. She kicked my a** right out of the house and that scared the s*** out of me. She said, ‘Hey, you're not just going to the therapist now and talking about this. You've got to go somewhere and sort this s*** out.' So that's what I did."

All tickets purchased to the shows in Australia and New Zealand, including Enhanced Experiences and Black Tickets, will be fully refunded."