Born in Denmark in 1963 Ulrich developed a love for drumming from a very early age. His father, a professional tennis player, passed on his love of the game to his son, possibly hoping that Ulrich would follow in his footsteps.
Due to a cancellation Ulrich (then 9) was fortunate enough to be invited to see a Deep Purple concert. It was at this concert that Ulrich got a taste of what would become a passion for drums. While tennis had been on his mind it was quickly replaced with dreams of being a professional drummer. At the age of 14 his grandmother gifted him his first drum kit.
At the age of 16 Ulrich’s family moved to Los Angeles and it was here that, along with co-founder James Hettfield, Ulrich formed what was to become one of the best bands of all time: Metallica. By 1993 the band already had their first album under their belt and were well on the way to becoming a household name. Their second album was released in 1986.
Ulrich is no stranger to loss, and in fact Metallica almost disbanded when while on tour in Europe their bus skidded off the road. The bands bassist Cliff Burton sustained fatal injuries, dealing Metallica and its members a terrible blow not only for the loss of a band member but for the loss of a friend.
The decision to keep Metallica alive was in part due to the Burton family giving the remaining band members their blessing to carry on after the death of Cliff. They released a third album and continued to tour and play concerts to their fans throughout the 1990s. Ulrich also began his own record label during these years.
Ulrich has had a successful career not only as a drummer but also by landing some small acting roles. Aside from his integral role as drummer for Metallica Ulrich once became famous in another way when he took on the mighty mp3 file-sharing giant Napster, citing copyright infringement. The claim was that Napster sharing was reducing sales of not only Metallica’s recorded albums but many others also.
Napster hijacked our music without asking. They never sought our permission. Our catalog of music simply became available as free downloads on the Napster system.
Ulrich has been married three times as well as engaging in a long term relationship. His first marriage to Brit Debbie Jones in 1988 ended just two short years later, with the reason cited as being Ulrich’s long absences while recording the album Metallica.
Ulrich’s second marriage to doctor Skylar Satenstein lasted from 1997 to 2004 before ending in divorce. During their time together Ulrich fathered two boys.
After divorcing Skylar Ulrich engaged in a long term relationship with Connie Nielsen, a Danish actress. The couple was together between 2004 and 2012 and Ulrich fathered yet another boy.
Ulrich is currently married to Jessica Miller, an American fashion model.
When Metallica was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Ulrich made history by being the first Danish inductee. Ulrich had spend considerable time prior to this event working to get his favorite band Deep Purple inducted also, and gave the induction speech for the band in 2016.