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Metallica, Keith Richards in tribute to Paris victim Ayad

Artists pay their respects to Mercury Records’ product manager who was killed at Bataclan venue

Metallica and Keith Richards have paid tribute to Mercury Records’ international product manager Thomas Ayad, who died during Friday night’s terror attacks in Paris.

Ayad was one of the victims at the city’s Bataclan venue, where 89 people were killed during an Eagles Of Death Metal show.

Metallica posted a picture of frontman James Hetfied with Ayad from 2011 and issued a statement.

It reads: “We had great fortune to work with Thomas Ayad at Universal Music France for the past eight years and while Thomas had the official title of being our ‘project manager,’ we knew him as a member of our Metallica family – a fan, a friend and a warm, helpful, supportive familiar face each time we visited France. 

“Friday, we lost Thomas at the Bataclan theatre in a way that none of us can begin to comprehend. Our thoughts are with Thomas’ friends, family, co-workers and all Parisians during these very difficult times."

Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards also paid tribute to Ayad on Instagram.

He says: “My heartfelt condolences go out to the family and friends of Thomas Ayad. Words cannot express the horror of what happened in Paris. I am horrified by the tragic events that took place in Paris last Friday night.”

Meanwhile, Bataclan owners say they've been “deeply moved” by the support shown in the wake of the attacks.

The say on Twitter: “Our thoughts are with the victims, the injured and their loved ones. Many of you want to gather at the Bataclan but unfortunately, the authorities are still working at the scene. We will keep you informed on when that will be possible.”

Punk legends Stiff Little Fingers went ahead with their show in Paris last night. The Belfast band took to the stage at the Backstage At The Mill venue in the city. And publicist Shirley Sexton says they were met by an enthusiastic crowd.

She reports: “Just talked to Jake Burns, he said the show went really well. He said that at the beginning of the show, they couldn’t hear themselves because the crowd was shouting, ‘Thank you! Thank you!’ Before the encore, he said to the crowd, ‘The world has you in its heart’ and there was a big cheer.”

So-called IS has claimed responsibility for the attacks which left a total of 129 people dead and a further 352 injured.

This morning (November 18) French authorities carried out raids in the Paris suburb of Saint Denis in an effort to track down further individuals involved in planning the operation. Initial reports say there has been heavy shooting and a woman has died after detonating a suicide bomb.

Motorhead, Papa Roach, Five Finger Death Punch, Twenty One Pilots, U2, Deftones, Foo Fighters and Marilyn Manson have all cancelled shows in France, with some pulling the plug on their entire European touring schedule.

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