Vixen guitarist Jan Kuehnemund has died aged 51.
The founding member of the ’80s glam metal rock band passed away on Thursday (October 10) after a prolonged battle with cancer, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Born in 1961 in St Paul, Minnesota, Kuehnemund formed Vixen in high school with singer Janet Gardner. The pair then moved the band to Los Angeles in 1985, where they were later signed to EMI after recruiting Roxy Petrucci on drums and Share Pedersen on bass.
The remaining members of Vixen, who now make music under the name JanetShareRoxyGina (aka JSRG) with new guitarist Gina Stile announced the news on their Facebook page.
“It is with profound sadness that we announce the sudden passing of Vixen founder and lead guitarist, Jan Kuehnemund, who lost a fierce battle with cancer on Thursday, October 10, 2013,” a statement reads.
“Though most well known for her gifted guitar playing and other musical talents, Jan was a rare friend and beautiful in every sense of the word. Humble, thoughtful, loyal and kind, she was the most gracious of women, possessing the quiet strength of a true warrior. She genuinely loved and appreciated her friends and fans more than most could ever know. Those who were most fortunate to have known her and loved her are heartbroken at the loss of Jan, whose spirit will shine through her music eternally.”
Vixen’s self-titled debut album was released in 1988 and produced the hits ‘Cryin” and ‘Edge Of A Broken Heart’. Their follow up album, 1990’s ‘Rev It Up’ was not as successful, and the band were soon dropped from the label.
In 2001, Kuehnemund re-joined the band after it had disbanded for several years. Vixen reformed for a short reunion as part of VH1’s Bands Reunited series in 2004, but soon went their separate ways again. Kuehnemund carried on as Vixen with new members, while Gardner, Petrucci and Pedersen formed JanetShareRoxyGina (JSRG) with Gina Stile.