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Jill Janus, singer for metal band Huntress, passed away on Tuesday.
A statement from the band’s publicist reads: “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 fronted Huntress since 2009, and the group released three albums. She also performed with cover bands the Starbreakers and Chelsea Girls. She was open about mental health, telling Revolver in 2015 that she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder when she was 20, and later struggled with schizophrenia and dissociative identity disorder. In 2015, Janus had a hysterectomy after cancer was found in her uterus.
Her fellow band members also posted the statement, which adds: “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.”
It is with crushed hearts that we announce that Jill Janus—frontwoman for the California heavy metal band...Posted by Huntress on Thursday, August 16, 2018
Elsewhere, fellow members of the metal community offered their support. Halestorm singer Lzzy Hale posted to Instagram to raise awareness around mental health: “I want everyone who has ever struggled with mental health to #RaiseYourHorns take a pic, tag and share it! The more people that are brave enough to put it out there, the more we will all see that we are not alone in our battles, in fact, we are the majority!”
Hey Freaks, I’d like to do something! I want everyone who has ever struggled with mental health to #RaiseYourHorns take a pic, tag and share it! The more people that are brave enough to put it out there, the more we will all see that we are not alone in our battles, in fact, we are the majority! Let’s get one step closer to breaking the mental health stigma! Much love in Rock n Roll #RaiseYourHorns
A post shared by LZZY HALE (@officiallzzyhale) on
Nita Strauss, guitarist for Alice Cooper and Janus’ bandmate in the Starbreakers, posted a remembrance to Facebook, recalling how Janus was part of her support team in helping her stay sober.
The first time I met Jill Janus was in 2009. Huntress had just released their first record. On the first day of the...Posted by Nita Strauss on Thursday, August 16, 2018
Audra Schroeder is the Daily Dot’s senior entertainment writer, and she focuses on streaming, comedy, and music. Her work has previously appeared in the Austin Chronicle, the Dallas Observer, NPR, ESPN, Bitch, and the Village Voice. She is based in Austin, Texas.