Huntress vocalist Jill Janus dead at 43

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(Image: © Frazer Harrison)

Huntress vocalist Jill Janus has died at the age of 43.

The news was confirmed in a statement on the band’s Facebook page and states that she died by suicide.

The statement reads: “It is with crushed hearts that we announce that Jill Janus – frontwoman for the California heavy metal band Huntress – passed away on Tuesday, August 14. 

“A long-time sufferer of mental illness, she took her own life outside of Portland, Oregon. Janus spoke publicly about these challenges in hopes of guiding others to address and overcome their mental illness.

“Janus was a truly special creative involved with numerous musical projects including her role as vocalist for female metal/hard rock cover bands The Starbreakers and Chelsea Girls. 

“In addition, Janus was co-composer and creator of an upcoming rock opera with Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s Angus Clark and had a decade-long career as NYC DJ Penelope Tuesdae. Her musical career began in childhood.”

The statement continues: “Beyond her accomplishments in the music world and her advocacy for mental health issues, she was a beautiful person passionate about her family, animal rescue and the world of natural medicine. She will be missed more than she could have ever known.

“If you or someone you know might be at risk of suicide, call 1-800-273-8255 to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. It provides free and confidential support 24-hours a day, seven days a week for people in suicidal crisis or distress.”

Janus spoke candidly about her mental health struggles in a Metal Hammer article in 2015, which followed news that she had been given the all clear after being diagnosed with uterine cancer earlier that same year.

Her boyfriend and Huntress guitarist Blake Meahl was the first to pay tribute to the singer, saying on Facebook: “I don’t do much posting of things, and to post on something so personal and painful is extra strange but it feels necessary.

“Jill Janus and I spent nine years together creating a home, having a family and building our passion project Huntress. The devastation of knowing I will never see her again is the most gutting emotion I have ever experienced.

“Baby, I hope you have found the peace that you couldn't find on this planet. I miss you so much and will always carry a piece of you in my heart. See you on Aldebaran.”