Jill Janus dead: Inside Huntress frontwoman's struggles with health and suicidal thoughts
Janus has had long-drawn battles with mental illness and had been quite candid about her struggles in the media. Her bandmates confirmed that she committed suicide on August 14.
Huntress' frontwoman Jill Janus has died at the age of 43, a social media post shared by her bandmates on Thursday confirmed. The heavy metal singer, who has had long-drawn battles with mental illness and who had been quite candid about her struggles in the media, is said to have committed suicide on August 14.
Confirming the heartbreaking news, a Facebook post by the Huntress revealed that Janus "took her own life outside of Portland, Oregon."
"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," her bandmates shared, addressing the late singer's willingness to talk about her personal battles.
Paying a tribute to her musical genius, they further added, "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," the post continued. "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."
The tragic post ended with a call to action, urging people to reach out if they know someone who "might be at risk of suicide".
Partner and fellow Huntress bandmate Blake Meahl paid tribute to Janus: “[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. I miss you so much and will always carry a piece of you in my heart. See you on Aldebaran.”
Janus has been a part of Huntress, the California-based heavy metal band, since 2009 when the band had just formed. Always in the public eyes, the songstress, however, had been outright vocal about her struggles with mental health disorders and her dealings with the suicidal thoughts.
Back in 2015, in an interview with the Revolver magazine, the songstress talked about her diagnosis of Bipolar disorder. “I started to show signs of it when I was 13, though, and I struggled with it through high school,” she had said. “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. That’s when I was admitted into a mental health facility and was diagnosed bipolar with schizoaffective disorder, which progressed into schizophrenia and dissociative disorder.”
Describing herself as “very suicidal” in her early years, the performer added about how it turned into a "full-blown mania", leading to her losing some memory. “I lost my long-term memory and can’t remember names, faces, or even places,” Janus explained. In 2015, the singer was allegedly diagnosed with cancer. Since the news of her untimely passing, though, many fans, celebrities, and even her Huntress bandmates have taken to social media, sharing grief and condolences.
It is with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to one of our peers. Jill Janus, has died today. Jill was very open about her struggles with mental health and addiction. Now, more than ever, spanning across Every age group, the suicide rate is extremely high. 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. It doesn’t matter if no one gets it but you...that’s ok! We need to Stop trying to live up to expectations that society places in front of us to make us feel Unworthy of love, beauty and success. We need to stop comparing ourselves to others. We need to stop trying to be “normal”. And we need to stop being quiet about our mental wellbeing. Asking for help doesn’t mean your broken. And if you don’t know how to ask for help that’s ok too, those of us who have a shoulder will let you lean on it! We are All in this life together. For those of you with the ability to lend a hand or and ear. DO IT! We have a responsibility to help each other, cuz everything we say, do and touch affects the whole race. We are all connected. And I’d also like to address how careful We need to be with prescription medications that doctors and people that we trust give us to try to fix us. Some side effects of these meds rewire your brain, to where even if you wouldn’t normally have suicidal thoughts, your brain actually starts thinking that it is logical...all due to meds. Please be careful my loves! 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 is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).