From the final inning of New York Yankees games to beloved TV show soundtracks, legendary metal band Metallica have been a cultural mainstay in the US and around the world since the 1980s. During that time, the band has released critically acclaimed album after album, sold tens of millions of tickets, and played in at least 48 countries.
Metallica have also become a model of philanthropic generosity, championing human rights, and donating millions of dollars to urgent causes. They’ve done so much charitable work that Forbes even said they could be the “world’s most charitable metal band.”
The band’s members — James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett, and Robert Trujillo — will again be raising their voices for a better world on Sept. 24 as they headline Global Citizen Festival: NYC in Central Park, where we’re calling on world leaders, corporations, and philanthropists to do more than they’ve ever done before to End Extreme Poverty NOW.
Metallica will be performing alongside Charlie Puth, Jonas Brothers, MÅNESKIN, Mariah Carey, Mickey Guyton, and Rosalía. The festival will be hosted by actor, producer, author, and Global Citizen Ambassador Priyanka Chopra Jonas.
You can learn more about Global Citizen Festival: NYC and how to get tickets here. And to get you pumped ahead of the show on Sept. 24, here’s what you should know about Metallica’s impressive charitable track record.
1. Metallica initially kept their charitable work a secret for years.
Metallica originally chose not to publicize their charitable work to avoid it seeming like they were “patting themselves on their backs,” quietly donating food and money in the cities where they played, drummer Ulrich explained in a 2018 op-ed for Rolling Stone.
But the band has since pivoted to championing causes out in the open to rally more support, allowing them to spread even more awareness for the causes they care so much about and mobilizing their fans to take action.
2. The band started its own foundation to focus on a range of important issues.
In 2017, Metallica founded the All Within My Hands Foundation to consolidate their main philanthropic initiatives. The foundation focuses on higher education, workforce development, women’s rights, hunger, emergency relief, and community services.
One of the foundation’s efforts involved donating $277,000 to build the first pediatric cancer hospital in Romania in 2019. More recently, the foundation donated $135,000 to support victims of the severe flood in Germany earlier this year.
Since 2018, the All Within My Hands Foundation has hosted an annual Day of Service, encouraging fans to join Metallica in giving back to communities by volunteering at local food banks.
3. Metallica joined Global Citizen in the fight to end extreme poverty in 2016.
The beloved metal band jammed out on the Global Citizen Festival stage in 2016. They brought their head-banging fans along to take action and support our mission to end extreme poverty, combat climate change, and empower historically excluded communities.
Their performance was dedicated to "those people who are like-minded and whose good intentions hopefully meet their intended destinies,” shouted vocalist and guitarist Hetfield.
Metallica also joined our 24-hour global event Global Citizen Live in September 2021, performing from Louisville, Kentucky, in support of our campaign to defend the planet and defeat poverty.
4. The band actively supports environmental causes.
Metallica have supported sustainability causes for decades, particularly when the band performed as part of the Live Earth concert in 2007, which benefited a range of environmental organizations.
They also donated to environmental groups such as the World Wildlife Fund, the Sierra Club, and Rainforest Action Network.
In 2020, Metallica donated $775,000 to wildlife relief in Australia following the deadly wildfires.
You can join Metallica in taking action for the environment by taking our Metallica: Climate Justice Hero challenge to stand up for those being most impacted by climate change — despite having done the least to cause it.
5. Metallica made several donations to groups helping communities weather the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19 has had a particularly negative impact on the live music industry, with countless clubs, recording studios, and music venues shuttering due to the loss of foot traffic.
Metallica’s donations to various organizations helped the people behind the scenes who are keeping the music business alive.
6. The band donated $500,000 to help feed Ukrainian refugees.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has created the fastest-growing refugee crisis in modern history, with nearly 15 million people displaced from the conflict, including 6.7 million refugees who fled the country. Most of these refugees are still in the process of securing stable shelter and other necessities of life.
Metallica’s donation of $500,000 to World Central Kitchen in April 2022 will go a long way toward ensuring that displaced families have meals to eat.
“The work that Chef José Andrés and the dedicated World Central Kitchen cooks do on the frontlines in a humanitarian crisis is nothing short of incredible,” Ulrich said in a statement.
“We are inspired, humbled, and beyond proud to support their teams currently in six European countries serving the millions of Ukrainians who have been forced to leave their homes. WCK represents everything that Metallica and our All Within My Hands Foundation stand for by providing meals with dignity and hope worldwide.”
Global Citizen Festival is calling on world leaders, corporations, and philanthropists to do more than they’ve ever done before to End Extreme Poverty NOW. Through our global campaign and with stages in two iconic locations — NYC’s Central Park and Accra’s Black Star Square — we will unite leaders, artists, activists, and Global Citizens around the world on Sept. 24 to achieve an ambitious policy agenda focused on empowering girls and women, taking climate action, breaking systemic barriers, and lifting up activists and advocates. Wherever you are in the world, you can join the campaign and take action right now by downloading the Global Citizen app.