James Hetfield, lead singer and guitarist of hard rock act Metallica, has checked himself into an undisclosed rehab facility "to undergo treament for alcoholism and other addictions," according to a s

James Hetfield, lead singer and guitarist of hard rock act Metallica, has checked himself into an undisclosed rehab facility "to undergo treament for alcoholism and other addictions," according to a statement to its fans posted yesterday (July 19) on the band's official Web site.

The move puts work on the band's forthcoming studio album on hold, along with a planned July 29 launch party for the band's redesigned Web site. The band had only recently begun work on the album, and had already paused once for the birth of drummer Lars Ulrich's second child. When completed, it will be the band's eighth studio album, and its first since bassist Jason Newsted exited after 14 years with the band.

"We have always thought of you all as family, and wanted you to know before this information gets out through other sources," the statement reads. "James is working hard toward recovery, and needless to say he has our full support. We trust that you will appreciate the sensitive nature of this matter, and respect our wishes to give James the time and privacy he needs to deal with his problems."

The band's decision to be go public about Hetfield's recovery attempt mirrors that of the Backstreet Boys, who last week postponed their ongoing U.S. tour while member AJ McLean entered a treatment program for clinical depression and alcohol abuse. According to a recent Billboard.com poll, that group's honesty regarding the situation was greatly appreciated by its fans.