Francesca Hetfield is an American costume designer, born on 27 January 1970 in Rosario, Argentina. She rose to fame due to her marriage with Metallica’s lead vocalist and guitarist James Hetfield.
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Although Francesca Hetfield (neé Tomasi) was born in South America, she and her family moved to the US when she was a child, and she grew up in Vail, Colorado. Further information about her family is unknown though.
As Francesca doesn’t offer many interviews, details about her early life are difficult to obtain. Despite this, her husband James Hetfield mentioned during an interview in 2016 that she had gone through difficult experiences during her early life: ‘she was the invisible kid too,’ he pointed out, as it was relatable to his own personal story: ‘we’re both survivors’.
Francesca Hetfield studied in Overland High School, from where she matriculated in the late 1980s. She later specialized in costume design.
Francesca and James Hetfield
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While Francesca Hetfield was initially working as a security guard in Denver, she later started looking for a job which involved travelling. It was then when she was hired as part of the staff of the heavy metal band Metallica, during their “Wherever I May Roam” promotional tour in the early 1990s.
Francesca worked as a costume designer and wardrobe assistant for the members of the band for several years. However, further details about her current occupation and professional interests are unknown.
Marriage & Family
Francesca met her husband-to-be, James Hetfield when she was working as a wardrobe designer for Metallica. They started dating soon after meeting, though James himself has admitted his behaviour at the start of their relationship was ‘embarrassing’ for both of them, as he was prone to destructive and impulsive tendencies.
However, Francesca helped James to leave behind these traits and overcome his toxic behaviour: ‘she helped me grow up quite a bit’, he later said. After five years of a relationship, Francesca and James married on 17 August 1997. They welcomed their older daughter, Cali Tee on 13 June 1998, and their son Castor Virgil was born on 18 May 2000. Their younger daughter Marcella Francesca was born on 17 January 2002.
Francesca Hetfield, her husband and kids currently live in her hometown of Vail, in Colorado. The family moved there in 2016 after they’d had enough of the hectic lifestyle of their previous Bay Area house in California.
Francesca’s husband James has also said he prefers to live in Colorado, as it allows him to enjoy life outdoors, be closer to nature and keeps him away from ‘elitism’: ‘I kind of got sick of the Bay Area, the attitudes of the people there, a little bit’.
He pointed out that despite his love for the ocean, he couldn’t live there anymore: ‘(I was) starting to feel like I was just fighting all the time, and I just had to get out of my own head. So Colorado does it for me.’
The Hetfield’s new house in Vail is well fitting for his family too, especially for Francesca who returned to live in her hometown after over two decades. Besides adopting a simple lifestyle, the Hetfield family also often visits Argentina, to stay in Francesca’s family’s ranch in La Patagonia.
Who is Francesca’s Husband James Hetfield?
The main reason Francesca has risen to fame is through being married to James Hetfield, who’s notably known for being the vocalist and guitarist of Metallica. He was born on 3 August 1863 in Downey, California.
James Hetfield’s childhood was out of the ordinary in many ways.
His family were practitioners of Christian Science, which meant they rejected using modern medicine, as they strongly believed in the power of their faith to cure any type of illness. James’ father Virgil Lee Hetfield – who worked as a trucker – left the family when his son was 13 years old.
Virgil’s abandonment affected James greatly. As he affirmed to Playboy in 2001, he didn’t even know his parents had separated until his mother told him the true nature of his father’s prolonged ‘business trip’ years later: ‘It was hidden that he was gone. Finally, my mom said ‘dad is not coming back’ and that was pretty difficult.’
James’ mother, Cynthia Bassett is a former opera singer – unfortunately she died from cancer when her son was 16 years old. She was diagnosed with this illness two years prior to her death, though she never received treatment as her religion’s rules dictated. James was left then to live with David, his older half-brother.
Despite the struggles of his early years, James was driven by music from his childhood. After learning to play piano at nine years old, he subsequently learned to also play the drums and guitar. James was a loyal fan of Aerosmith, a band which he saw in concert for the first time in 1978. The experience was unforgettable for him, as it became his source of inspiration and the reason he decided to choose music as his career.
James Hetfield attended Downey High School until his sophomore year, leaving school when his mother Cynthia died. He ultimately matriculated from Brea Olinda High School In 1981.
In April 1981, James answered an advertisement posted by drummer Lars Ulrich, indicating that he was looking for people to form a band. James was immediately recruited by Lars, and only six months after their initial meeting, Metallica – with the addition of other members – was officially established.
The band’s first song entitled “Hit the Lights” was included in the compilation album “Metal Massacre” – in this track, James was credited as the rhythm guitarist, bassist and vocalist. Metallica’s first demo was entitled “Power Metal”, which also helped the band to gain popularity on said metal sub-genre of the same name during their initial years. In 1984 people started referring to their sound as thrash metal.
Metallica planned to release their first album, “Metal Up Your Ass” in May 1983, however, their label Megaforce Records rejected the name and made them change it. The album was ultimately released in June that year under the title “Kill ‘Em All”, which was followed by “Ride The Lightning” soon after. Both productions helped the band to gain recognition on the metal scene, and caught the attention of major music labels.
— Metallica (@Metallica) December 2, 2020
Following the release of “Creeping Death” as a single in November 1984, Metallica embarked on their first international tour in Europe. Then in March 1986, the band released “Masters of Puppets”, which became a certified gold album later that year, and then toured the US, though as James’ wrist was injured, his guitar playing was temporarily replaced by John Marshall’s.
In 1988 Metallica released their following album “…And Justice For All”, which gained them their first nomination for a Grammy Award, and became their first number one on Billboard.
Metallica released their next albums “Load” in 1996 and “Reload” the following year, but only after several years without new music did the band release the album “St. Anger” in 2003, which was followed five years later by “Death Magnetic”.
In 2009 the band was inducted into the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame. Metallica’s latest album “Hardwired… To Self-Destruct” was released in 2016.
Struggle With Addictions
Besides dealing with anger issues, James Hetfield struggled with addictions for several years, which has led him to enter rehab programs two times in his life.
In 2001 he went on a hunting trip to Siberia and was absent from his son’s birthday. This trip was driven by his lack of self-control originating from alcoholism. It also caused his wife Francesca to throw him out of the house when he returned from his trip.
Finding himself living alone and away from his family, James sought professional help: ‘Fear was a big motivator in that for me. Losing my family, that was the thing that scared me so much, that was the bottom I hit.’
Although Francesca’s decision might seem rough for some, it helped James to step out of his addiction path, for which he’s grateful: ‘She has ridden the big waves with me. We have gone through some extremely difficult things and come out stronger. She’s stuck with me through all the hell.’
After rehab James was able to fix his relationship with Francesca and the rest of his family. He has also declared himself as straight X, a movement which kept him away from his alcoholism for several years. Unfortunately, in 2019 James went back to his old ways with his addiction, causing his return into rehab and the cancelation of Metallica’s tour through Australia.
Much to the joy of his fans James overcame his addiction once again, and made a public appearance in January 2020.
How Much Is Francesca Hetfield Worth?
Francesca has an estimated net worth of $300 million, which is her shared patrimony with her husband James Hetfield.
Francesca Hetfield is a beautiful woman of white ethnicity. She has blonde hair, green eyes and a slender build. Her height and weight are unknown.
As per her husband’s James’ declarations, he felt that she was right for him when he met her: ‘I knew she was brought to me to help me get out of this hell hole. And she did.’
Apparently neither Francesca nor the rest of her family have public social media accounts.
James Hetfield adopted Francesca’s native country Argentina’s tradition of drinking mate.