A rumor claiming Hetfield committed suicide by overdosing on sleeping pills circulated on the Internet last week, with several news agencies picking up the story, Launch Radio Networks reported Wednesday.
The hoax made its way to Metallica message boards around the world, prompting the band's official Web site to reply: "Contrary to what you may have read on message boards or heard from news agencies, James Hetfield is alive and doing extremely well. Thank you for everyone's concern."
Another tale told in cyberspace last week was that Green Day singer and guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong was killed in a car crash.
A posting on that band's official Web site cleared things up: "Despite what you may have heard rumored on the Internet, Billie Joe did not recently die in a car accident. Billie Joe, Mike, and Tre are all fine."