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Napster controversy, Newsted's departure and St. Anger (2000–2005)

In 2000, Metallica discovered that a demo of its song "I Disappear", which was supposed to be released in combination with the Mission: Impossible II soundtrack, was receiving radio airplay. Tracing the source of the leak, the band found the file on the Napster peer-to-peer file-sharing network, and also found that the band's entire catalogue was freely available. Legal action was initiated against Napster; Metallica filed a lawsuit at the U.S. District CourtCentral District of California, alleging that Napster violated three areas of the law: copyright infringement, unlawful use of digital audio interface device, and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).

Ulrich provided a statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding copyright infringement on July 11, 2000. Federal Judge Marilyn Hall Patel  ordered the site to place a filter on the program within 72 hours or be shut down. A settlement between Metallica and Napster was reached when German media conglomerate Bertelsmann BMG showed interest in purchasing the rights to Napster for $94 million. Under the terms of settlement, Napster agreed to block users who shared music by artists who do not want their music shared. On June 3, 2002, Napster filed for Chapter 11 protection under U.S. bankruptcy laws. On September 3, 2002, an American bankruptcy judge blocked the sale of Napster to Bertelsmann and forced Napster to liquidate its assets according to Chapter 7 of the U.S. bankruptcy laws.

At the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards, Ulrich appeared with host Marlon Wayans in a skit that criticized the idea of using Napster to share music. Marlon played a college student listening to Metallica's "I Disappear". Ulrich walked in and asked for an explanation. Ulrich responded to Wayans' excuse that using Napster was just "sharing" by saying that Wayans' idea of sharing was "borrowing things that were not yours without asking". He called in the Metallica road crew, who proceeded to confiscate all of Wayans' belongings, leaving him almost naked in an empty room. Napster creator Shawn Fanning responded later in the ceremony by presenting an award wearing a Metallica shirt, saying, "I borrowed this shirt from a friend. Maybe, if I like it, I'll buy one of my own." Ulrich was later booed on stage at the award show when he introduced the final musical act, Blink-182.

Newsted left Metallica on January 17, 2001, as plans were being made to enter the recording studio. His said he left the band for "private and personal reasons, and the physical damage I have done to myself over the years while playing the music that I love". During a Playboy interview with Metallica, Newsted said he wanted to release an album with his side projectEchobrain. Hetfield was opposed to the idea and said, "When someone does a side project, it takes away from the strength of Metallica", and that a side project is "like cheating on your wife in a way". Newsted said Hetfield had recorded vocals for a song used in the film South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, and appeared on two Corrosion of Conformity albums. Hetfield replied, "My name isn't on those records. And I'm not out trying to sell them", and pondered questions such as, "Where would it end? Does he start touring with it? Does he sell shirts? Is it his band?"

In April 2001, filmmakers Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky began following Metallica to document the recording process of the band's next studio album. Over two years they recorded more than 1,000 hours of footage. On July 19, 2001, before preparations to enter the recording studio, Hetfield entered rehab to treat his "alcoholism and other addictions". All recording plans were put on hold and the band's future was in doubt. Hetfield left rehab on December 4, 2001, and the band returned to the recording studio on April 12, 2002. Hetfield was required to limit his work to four hours a day between noon and 4 pm, and to spend the rest of his time with his family. The footage recorded by Berlinger and Sinofsky was compiled into the documentary Some Kind of Monster, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2004. In the documentary, Newsted said his former bandmates' decision to hire a therapist to help solve their problems which he felt they could have solved on their own was "really fucking lame and weak".

For the duration of the recording period, producer Bob Rock played bass on the album and in several live shows at which Metallica performed during that time. Once the record was completed in early 2003, the band started to hold auditions for Newsted's permanent replacement. Bassists Pepper Keenan, Jeordie WhiteScott ReederEric AveryDanny Lohner, and Chris Wyse—among others— auditioned for the role. After three months of auditions, Robert Trujillo, formerly of Suicidal Tendencies and Ozzy Osbourne's band, was chosen as the new bassist. As Metallica moved on, Newsted joined Canadian thrash metal band Voivod in 2002, and was Trujillo's replacement in Osbourne's band during the 2003 Ozzfest tour, which included Voivod.

In June 2003, Metallica's eighth studio album, St. Anger, debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, and drew mixed reactions from critics. Ulrich's "steely" sounding snare drum and the absence of guitar solos received particular criticism. Kevin Forest Moreau of Shakingthrough.net said, "the guitars stumble in a monotone of mid-level, processed rattle; the drums don't propel as much as struggle to disguise an all-too-turgid pace; and the rage is both unfocused and leavened with too much narcissistic navel-gazing". Brent DiCrescenzo of Pitchfork Media described it as "an utter mess". However, Blender magazine called it the "grimiest and grimmest of the band's Bob Rock productions", and New York Magazine called it "utterly raw and rocking". The title track, "St. Anger", won the Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance in 2004; it was used as the official theme song for WWE's SummerSlam 2003.

Before the band's set at the 2004 Download Festival, Ulrich was rushed to the hospital after having an anxiety seizure and was unable to perform. Hetfield searched for last-minute volunteers to replace Ulrich. Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo and Slipknot drummer Joey Jordison  volunteered. Lombardo performed "Battery" and "The Four Horsemen", Ulrich's drum technician Flemming Larsen performed "Fade to Black", and Jordison performed the remainder of the set. Having toured for two years in support of St. Anger on the Summer Sanitarium Tour 2003 and the Madly in Anger with the World Tour, with multi-platinum rock band Godsmack in support, Metallica took a break from performing and spent most of 2005 with friends and family. The band opened for The Rolling Stones at AT&T Park in San Francisco on November 13 and 15, 2005.

Death Magnetic, Lulu and Beyond Magnetic (2006–2011)

In December 2006, Metallica released a DVD titled The Videos 1989–2004, which sold 28,000 copies in its first week and entered the Billboard Top Videos chart at number three. Metallica recorded a guitar-based interpretation of Ennio Morricone's "The Ecstasy of Gold" for a tribute album titled We All Love Ennio Morricone, which was released in February 2007. The track received a Grammy nomination at the 50th Grammy Awards for the category "Best Rock Instrumental Performance". A recording of "The Ecstasy of Gold" has been played to introduce Metallica's performances since the 1980s. Earlier that year, Metallica announced on its official website that after 15 years, long-time producer Bob Rock would not be producing the band's next studio album. Instead, the band chose to work with producer Rick Rubin. Metallica scheduled the release of Death Magnetic as September 12, 2008, and the band filmed a music video for the album's first single, "The Day That Never Comes".

On September 2, 2008, a record store in France began selling copies of Death Magnetic nearly two weeks before its scheduled worldwide release date, which resulted in the album being made available on peer-to-peer clients. This prompted the band's UK distributor Vertigo Records to officially release the album on September 10, 2008. Rumors of Metallica or Warner Bros. taking legal action against the French retailer were unconfirmed, though drummer Lars Ulrich responded to the leak by saying, "...We're ten days from release. I mean, from here, we're golden. If this thing leaks all over the world today or tomorrow, happy days. Happy days. Trust me", and, "By 2008 standards, that's a victory. If you'd told me six months ago that our record wouldn't leak until 10 days out, I would have signed up for that."

Death Magnetic debuted at number one in the U.S. selling 490,000 units; Metallica became the first band to have five consecutive studio albums debut at number one in the history of the Billboard 200. A week after its release, Death Magnetic remained at number one on the Billboard 200 and the European album chart; it also became the fastest selling album of 2008 in Australia.

Death Magnetic remained at number one on the Billboard 200 album chart for three consecutive weeks. Metallica was one of two artists whose album—the other being Jack Johnson's album Sleep Through the Static—remained on the Billboard 200 for three consecutive weeks at number one in 2008. Death Magnetic also remained at number one on Billboard's Hard Rock, Modern Rock/Alternative and Rock album charts for five consecutive weeks. The album reached number one in 32 countries outside the U.S., including the UK, Canada, and Australia. In November 2008, Metallica's record deal with Warner Bros. ended and the band considered releasing its next album through the internet.

On January 14, 2009, it was announced that Metallica would be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on April 4, 2009, and that former bassist Jason Newsted—who left the band in 2001—would perform with the band at the ceremony. Initially, it was announced that the matter had been discussed and that bassist Trujillo had agreed not to play because he "wanted to see the Black Album band". However, during the band's set of "Master of Puppets" and "Enter Sandman", both Trujillo and Newsted were on stage. Ray Burton, father of the late Cliff Burton, accepted the honor on his behalf. Although he was not to be inducted with them, Metallica invited Dave Mustaine to take part in the induction ceremony. Mustaine declined because of his touring commitments in Europe.

Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax performed on the same bill for the first time on June 16, 2010, at Warsaw Babice AirportWarsaw, as a part of the Sonisphere Festival series. The show in Sofia, Bulgaria, on June 22, 2010, was broadcast via satellite to cinemas. The bands also played concerts in Bucharest on June 26, 2010, and Istanbul on June 27, 2010. On June 28, 2010, Death Magnetic was certified 2X platinum by the RIAA.

Metallica's World Magnetic Tour ended in Melbourne on November 21, 2010. The band had been touring for over two years in support of Death Magnetic. To accompany the final tour dates in Australia and New Zealand, a live, limited edition EP of past performances in Australia called Six Feet Down Under was released. The EP was followed by Six Feet Down Under (Part II), which was released on November 12, 2010. Part 2 contains a further eight songs recorded during the first two Oceanic Legs of the World Magnetic Tour.

On November 26, 2010, Metallica released a live EP titled Live at Grimey's, which was recorded in June 2008 at Grimey's Record Store, just before the band's appearance at Bonnaroo Music Festival that year.

In a June 2009 interview with Italy's Rock TV, Ulrich said Metallica was planning to continue touring until August 2010, and that there were no plans for a tenth album. He said he was sure the band would collaborate with producer Rick Rubin again. According to Blabbermouth.net, the band was considering recording its next album in the second half of 2011. In November 2010, during an interview with The Pulse of Radio, Ulrich said Metallica would return to writing in 2011. Ulrich said, "There's a bunch of balls in the air for 2011, but I think the main one is we really want to get back to writing again. We haven't really written since, what, '06, '07, and we want to get back to kind of just being creative again. Right now we are going to just chill out and then probably start up again in, I'd say, March or April, and start probably putting the creative cap back on and start writing some songs."

In an interview at the April 2011 Big Four concert, Robert Trujillo said Metallica will work with Rick Rubin again as producer for the new album and were "really excited to write some new music. There's no shortage of riffage in Metallica world right now." He added, "The first album with Rick was also the first album for me, so in a lot of ways, you're kind of testing the water. Now that we're comfortable with Rick and his incredible engineer, Greg Fidelman, who worked with Slayer, actually, on this last record—it's my hero—it's a great team. And it's only gonna better; I really believe that. So I'm super-excited." In June 2011, Rubin said Metallica had begun writing its new album. On November 9, 2010, Metallica announced it would be headlining the Rock in Rio festival in Rio de Janeiro on September 25, 2011.

On December 13, 2010, the band announced it would again play as part of the "big four" during the Sonisphere Festival at Knebworth House, Hertfordshire, on July 8, 2011. It was the first time all of the "big four" members played on the same stage in the UK. On December 17, 2010, Another "big four" Sonisphere performance that would take place in France on July 9 was announced. On January 25, 2011, another "big four" performance on April 23, 2011, at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California, was announced. It was the first time all of the "big four" members played on the same stage in the U.S. On February 17, 2011, a show in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, on July 2, 2011, was announced. On February 22, a "big four" show in Milan on July 6, 2011, was announced. On March 2, 2011, another "big four" concert, which took place in Gothenburg on July 3, 2011, was announced. The final "big four" concert was in New York City, at Yankee Stadium, on September 14, 2011.

On June 15, 2011, Metallica announced that recording sessions with singer-songwriter Lou Reed had concluded. The album, which was titled Lulu, was recorded over several months and comprised ten songs based on Frank Wedekind's "Lulu" plays Earth Spirit and Pandora's Box. The album was released on October 31, 2011. The recording of the album was problematic at times; Lars Ulrich later said Lou Reed challenged him to a "street fight". On October 16, 2011, Robert Trujillo confirmed that the band was back in the studio and writing new material. He said, "The writing process for the new Metallica album has begun. We've been in the studio with Rick Rubin, working on a couple of things, and we're going to be recording during the most of next year."

Metallica was due to make its first appearance in India at the "India Rocks" concert, supporting the 2011 Indian Grand Prix. However, the concert was canceled when the venue was proven to be unsafe. Fans raided the stage during the event and the organizers were later arrested for fraud. Metallica made its Indian debut in Bangalore on October 30, 2011. On November 10, it was announced that Metallica would headline the main stage on Saturday June 9, 2012, at the Download Festival at Donington Park and that the band would play the The Black Album in its entirety. Metallica celebrated its 30th anniversary by playing four shows at the Fillmore in San Francisco in December 2011. The shows were exclusive to Met Club members and tickets were charged at $6 each or $19.81 for all four nights. The shows consisted of songs from the band's career and featured guest appearances by artists who had either helped or had influenced Metallica. These shows were notable because Lloyd Grant, Dave Mustaine, Jason Newsted, Glenn Danzig, Ozzy Osbourne,  Jerry CantrellApocalyptica, members of Diamond Head, and King Diamond joined Metallica on stage for all appropriate songs. In December 2011, Metallica began releasing songs that were written for Death Magnetic but were not included on the album online. On December 13, 2011, the band released Beyond Magnetic, a digital EP release exclusively on iTunes. It was released on CD in January 2012.

Metallica: Through the Never and Hardwired... to Self-Destruct (2012–present)  

On February 7, 2012, Metallica announced that it would start a new music festival called Orion Music + More, which took place on June 23 and 24, 2012, in Atlantic City. Metallica also confirmed that it would headline the festival on both days and would perform two of its most critically acclaimed albums in their entirety: The Black Album on one night, and Ride the Lightning on the other. In a July 2012 interview with Canadian radio station 99.3 The Fox, Ulrich said Metallica would not release its new album until at least early 2014. In November 2012, Metallica left Warner Bros. Records and launched an independent record label, Blackened Recordings, which will produce the band's future releases. The band has acquired the rights to all of its studio albums, which will be reissued through the new label. Blackened releases will be distributed through Warner subsidiary Rhino Entertainment in the U.S. and elsewhere through Universal Music. On September 20, 2012, Metallica announced via its official website that a new DVD containing footage of shows it performed in Quebec in 2009 would be released that December; fans would get the chance to vote for two setlists that would appear on the DVD. The film, titled Quebec Magnetic, was released in the U.S. on December 10, 2012.

In an interview with Classic Rock on January 8, 2013, Ulrich said regarding the band's upcoming album, "What we're doing now certainly sounds like a continuation [of Death Magnetic]". He also said, "I love Rick [Rubin]. We all love Rick. We're in touch with Rick constantly. We'll see where it goes. It would stun me if the record came out in 2013." Also in 2013, the band starred in a 3D concert film titled Metallica: Through the Never, which was directed by Antal Nimród and was released in IMAX theaters on September 27. In an interview dated July 22, 2013, Ulrich told Ultimate Guitar, "2014 will be all about making a new Metallica record"; he said the album will most likely be released during 2015. Kirk Hammett and Robert Trujillo later confirmed the band's intention to enter the studio. At the second Orion Music + More festival held in Detroit, the band played under the name "Dehaan"—a reference to actor Dane DeHaan, who starred in Metallica: Through the Never. The band performed its debut album Kill 'Em All in its entirety, celebrating the 30th anniversary of its release. On December 8, 2013, the band played a show called "Freeze 'Em All" in Antarctica, becoming the first band to play on all seven continents. The performance was filmed and released as a live album the same month.

At the 56th Annual Grammy Awards in January 2014, Metallica performed "One" with Chinese pianist Lang Lang. In March 2014, Metallica began a tour called "Metallica By Request", in which fans request songs for the band to perform. A new song, titled "Lords of Summer" was written for the concerts and released as a "first take" demo in June 2014. In June 2014, the band headlined the Glastonbury Festival in an attempt to attract new fans. Ulrich said, "We have one shot, you never know if you'll be invited back". In November 2014, Metallica performed at the closing ceremony of BlizzCon 2014. In January 2015, Metallica announced a "Metallica Night" with the San Jose Sharks, which featured a Q&A session with the band and a charity auction benefiting the San Francisco Bay Chapter of the Sierra Club, but no performances. They were announced to headline Lollapalooza in March 2015, returning to perform there for the first time in 20 years. On May 2, 2015, Metallica performed their third annual Metallica Day at AT&T Park. Metallica were also announced to play at X Games for the first time at X Games Austin 2015 in Austin, Texas. On June 14, 2015, Hetfield and Hammett performed The Star-Spangled Banner live via electric guitars prior to game 5 of the NBA Finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. In late October, the band unveiled a new website with an introduction from Ulrich containing footage from the studio of the band working on new material. On November 2, Metallica were announced to play "The Night Before" Super Bowl 50 at AT&T Park. Metallica announced they would be opening the U.S. Bank Stadium on August 20, 2016, with Avenged Sevenfold and Volbeat as support.

In April 2016, during the week leading up to Record Store Day, for which the band was its ambassador for 2016, Ulrich told Billboard that the band's expanded role within the music industry had played a part in the amount of time that it had taken to write and record the album. "The way we do things now is very different than the way we did things back in the days of Kill 'Em All and Ride the Lightning. Nowadays we like to do so many different things." Ulrich was also optimistic that production of the album had almost reached its completion. "Unless something radical happens it would be difficult for me to believe that it won't come out in 2016".

On August 18, 2016, the band announced via their website that their tenth studio album, Hardwired... to Self-Destruct, would be released worldwide on November 18, 2016 via their independent label, Blackened Recordings. They also unveiled the track listing, album artwork, and released a music video for the album's first single, "Hardwired". The album was released as scheduled and debuted at number one on the Billboard 200.

Style and lyrical themes

Metallica was influenced by early heavy metal and hard rock bands and artists Black SabbathDeep PurpleKissLed ZeppelinQueenTed Nugent, AC/DCRushAerosmithJudas Priest, and ScorpionsNew wave of British heavy metal bands VenomMotörheadSaxonDiamond Head, Blitzkrieg, and Iron Maiden, and early punk rock bands RamonesSex Pistols, and the Misfits also influenced Metallica's style as did post-punk band Killing Joke. The band's early releases contained fast tempos, harmonized leads, and nine-minute instrumental tracks. Steve Huey of AllMusic said Ride the Lightning featured "extended, progressive epics; tight, concise groove-rockers". Huey said Metallica expanded its compositional technique and range of expression to take on a more aggressive approach in following releases, and lyrics dealt with personal and socially conscious issues. Religious and military leaders, rage, insanity, monsters, and drugs—among other themes—were explored on Master of Puppets.

In 1991, Huey said Metallica with new producer Bob Rock simplified and streamlined its music for a more commercial approach to appeal to mainstream audiences. Robert Palmer of Rolling Stone said the band abandoned its aggressive, fast tempos to expand its music and expressive range. The change in direction proved commercially successful; Metallica was the band's first album to peak at number one on the Billboard 200. Metallica noticed changes to the rock scene created by the grunge movement of the early 1990s. In Load—an album that has been described as having "an almost alternative rock" approach—the band changed musical direction and focused on non-metal influences. Metallica's new lyrical approach moved away from drugs and monsters, and focused on anger, loss, and retribution. Some fans and critics were not pleased with this change, which included haircuts, the cover art of Load, and headlining the alternative rock concert Lollapalooza. David Fricke of Rolling Stone described the move as "goodbye to the moldy stricture and dead-end Puritanism of no-frills thrash", and called Load the heaviest record of 1996. With the release of ReLoad in 1997, the band displayed blues and early hard rock influences, incorporating more rhythm and harmony in song structures.

St. Anger marked another large change in the band's sound. Guitar solos were excluded from the album, leaving a "raw and unpolished sound". The band used drop C tuning; Ulrich's snare drum received particular criticism. New York Magazine's Ethan Brown said it "reverberates with a thwong". The album's lyrics deal with Hetfield's drug rehabilitation and include references to the devil, anti-drug themes, claustrophobia, impending doom, and religious hypocrisy. At the advice of producer Rick Rubin, for its ninth studio album Death Magnetic, the band returned to standard tuning and guitar solos. As a return to Metallica's thrash roots, Death Magnetic was a riff-oriented album featuring intense guitar solos and subtle lyrics dealing with suicide and redemption.

Legacy and influence

Metallica has become one of the most influential heavy metal bands of all time, and is credited as one of the "big four" of thrash metal, along with Slayer, Anthrax, and Megadeth. The band has sold more than 110 million records worldwide, including an RIAA-certified 66 million and Nielsen SoundScan-reported 53,642,000 in the U.S., making Metallica one of the most commercially successful bands of all time. The writers of The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll said Metallica gave heavy metal "a much-needed charge". Stephen Thomas Erlewine and Greg Prato of Allmusic said Metallica "expanded the limits of thrash, using speed and volume not for their own sake, but to enhance their intricately structured compositions", and called the band "easily the best, most influential heavy metal band of the '80s, responsible for bringing the music back to Earth".

Jonathan Davis of Korn said he respects Metallica as his favorite band; he said, "I love that they've done things their own way and they've persevered over the years and they're still relevant to this day. I think they're one of the greatest bands ever." Godsmack drummer Shannon Larkin said Metallica has been the biggest influence on the band, stating, "they really changed my life when I was 16 years old—I'd never heard anything that heavy". Vocalist and guitarist Robb Flynn of Machine Head said that when creating the band's 2007 album, The Blackening, "What we mean is an album that has the power, influence and epic grandeur of that album Master of Puppets—and the staying power—a timeless record like that". Trivium guitarists Corey Beaulieu  and Matt Heafy said that when they heard Metallica they wanted to start playing guitar. M. Shadows of Avenged Sevenfold said touring with Metallica was the band's career highlight, and said, "Selling tons of records and playing huge shows will never compare to meeting your idols Metallica". God Forbid  guitarists Doc and Dallas Coyle were inspired by Metallica as they grew up, and the band's bassist John Outcalt admires Burton as a "rocker". Ill Niño  drummer Dave Chavarri said he finds early Metallica releases are "heavy, raw, rebellious. It said, 'fuck you'", and Adema drummer Kris Kohls said the band is influenced by Metallica.

Kerrang! released a tribute album titled Master of Puppets: Remastered with the April 8, 2006, edition of the magazine to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Master of Puppets. The album featured cover versions of Metallica songs by Machine HeadBullet for My ValentineChimairaMastodonMendeed, and Trivium—all of which are influenced by Metallica. At least 15 Metallica tribute albums have been released. On September 10, 2006, Metallica guest starred on The Simpsons' eighteenth-season premiere, "The Mook, the Chef, the Wife and Her Homer". Hammett's and Hetfield's voices were used in three episodes of the animated television series Metalocalypse. Finnish cello metal  band Apocalyptica released a tribute album titled Plays Metallica by Four Cellos, which features eight Metallica songs played on cellos. A parody band named Beatallica plays music using a combination of The Beatles and Metallica songs. Beatallica faced legal troubles when Sony, which owns The Beatles' catalog, issued a cease and desist order, claiming "substantial and irreparable injury" and ordering the group to pay damages. Ulrich, a fan of Beatallica, asked Metallica's lawyer Peter Paterno to help settle the case.

MTV ranked Metallica the third "Greatest Heavy Metal Band in History", was listed fifth on VH1's 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock, and the band was number one on VH1's 20 Greatest Metal Bands list. Rolling Stone placed the band 61st on its list of "The 100 Greatest Artists of All Time"; its albums Master of Puppets and Metallica were ranked at numbers 167 and 252 respectively on the magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Master of Puppets was named in Q Magazine's "50 Heaviest Albums of All Time", and was ranked number one on IGN's "Top 25 Metal Albums", and number one on Metal-rules.com's "Top 100 Heavy Metal Albums" list. 

"Enter Sandman" was ranked number 399 on Rolling Stone's "500 Greatest Songs of All Time".

On March 7, 1999, Metallica was inducted into the San Francisco Walk of Fame. The mayor of San Francisco, Willie Brown, proclaimed the day "Official Metallica Day". The band was awarded the MTV Icon award in 2003, and a concert paying tribute to the band with artists performing its songs was held. Performances included Sum 41 and a medley of "For Whom the Bell Tolls", "Enter Sandman", and "Master of Puppets". Staind covered "Nothing Else Matters", Avril Lavigne played "Fuel", hip-hop artist Snoop Dogg performed "Sad but True", Korn played "One", and Limp Bizkit performed "Welcome Home (Sanitarium)".

The Guitar Hero video game series included several of Metallica's songs. "One" was used in Guitar Hero III. The album Death Magnetic was later released as purchasable, downloadable content for the game. "Trapped Under Ice" was featured in the sequel, Guitar Hero World Tour. In 2009, Metallica collaborated with the game's developers to make Guitar Hero: Metallica, which included a number of Metallica's songs. Harmonix' video game series Rock Band included "Enter Sandman"; "Ride the Lightning", "Blackened", and "...And Justice for All" were released as downloadable tracks. In 2013, due to expiring content licenses, "Ride the Lightning", "Blackened", and "...And Justice for All" are no longer available for download.

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