Metallica pays tribute to late ‘Lulu’ co-producer Hal Willner: “He was a truly inspirational collaborator”

Metallica has shared a tribute to the late Hal Willner, who co-produced 2011’s Lulu, the band’s polarizing collaborative album with Lou Reed.  

Willner, a music industry vet who worked on Saturday Night Live since the ’80s and produced albums for artists including Reed, Marianne FaithfulLaurie Anderson and Lucinda Williams, died Tuesday at age 64 from COVID-19 complications, according to Variety.

“He was a truly inspirational collaborator,” Metallica writes of Willner. “Someone who through his unique combination of musical knowledge and warm personality, invigorated every project he touched, including co-producing our very own collaboration with Lou Reed, 2011’s Lulu.”

“Hal expertly helped to guide us all to a project we loved, and remain fiercely proud of, to this day,” the metal legends add.

In his own statement, drummer Lars Ulrich remembers Willner as a “warm, open, and communicative person.”

“As Lou’s right-hand man, he was absolutely essential in pushing Lulu forward,” Ulrich writes. “I’ll never forget him, and I know I speak for the entire Metallica family when I say he will be greatly missed.”

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