Huntress lead singer Jill Janus has taken her own life at the age of 43, her band and family have confirmed.
The frontwoman of the metal group had long struggled with mental illness and killed herself earlier this week near Portland, Oregon, a statement released through her publicist confirmed.
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“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”, the band confirmed in a Facebook post.
“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 TheStarbreakers 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.”
Huntress bandmate and boyfriend Blake Meahl explained that he and Janus “spent 9 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.”
He added: “I hope you have found the peace that you couldn’t find on this planet”.
Janus had fronted Huntress from the group’s start in Los Angeles in 2009 and sang on three full-length albums. She also toured with metal icons including Motorhead and Lamb of God during her time with the group.
She had been open about her struggles with bipolar disease, telling Revolver magazine in July 2015 how she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder when she was 20 years old.
“I started to show signs of it when I was 13, though, and I struggled with it through high school”, she explained.
“It started to get dangerous in my early teens. By the time I was 20 and living in Manhattan, it was very, very difficult for me.”
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