Jill Janus, the frontwoman for popular heavy metal band Huntress, was found dead on Tuesday, others in this group have confirmed.
She was 43 years old.
While details are still coming in regarding her passing, this is what band members wrote on Facebook last night as tragic confirmation of the news:
“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.”
Continued this post:
“Janus spoke publicly about these challenges in hopes of guiding others to address and overcome their mental illness.”
Huntress were formed in 2009 and released its first album, Spell Eater, in 2012.
The band went on to release a further a pair of orther records as well, while supporting and opening at times for rock bands Motörhead and Lamb of God.
Best known for the singing gig described above with Huntress, Janus also sang for a handful of female metal cover bands over the years, including The Starbreakers and Chelsea Girls.
“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,” the Facebook message reads, concluding
“She will be missed more than she could have ever known.”
It is unclear at the moment just how Janus took her own life.
The artist was diagnosed with bipolar disease aged 20, telling Revolver magazine in 2015 that she struggled in high school after starting to show signs of this illness at 13 years old.
In response to this awful news, partner and Huntress member Blake Meahl paid tribute to Janus as follows yesterday:
“[We] 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. I hope you have found the peace that you couldn’t find on this planet.”
Added Lizzy Hale of Halestorm:
“I’d like to take a moment to state again how important it is to talk about mental health, and remind all of you out there battling demons that you are not alone.
I have to navigate my own dark labyrinth and I turn to music and writing for my lifeline. I want to encourage you to keep searching for Your lifeline, something that makes You happy.
To Jill, My sister of scream, I hope wherever you are you have found the peace that you couldn’t here.
My deepest sympathy’s go out to Jill’s Family and her band Huntress during this time.
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.