With great sadness we must report that Jill Janus, vocalist of the band Huntress and the mind behind several musical pursuits, has passed away. She took her own life this Tuesday following a long battle with mental illness. She was only 43.

In her time, she impacted not only the world of metal but the lives of many people. She made mental health awareness a cornerstone of her approach to music and changed lives in the process. For all she has done, she will not be forgotten.

R.I.P. Jill Janus

Here’s the official statement in regards to her passing:

“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 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.

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.”

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