Jill Janus, Vocalist of Metal Band Huntress, Dies at 43

Amy Harris/Invision/AP
Jill Janus of Huntress performs during night one of Ozzfest meets Knotfest at San Manuel Amphitheater on Sept. 24, 2016 in San Bernardino, Calif. 

Jill Janus, the singer of several rock bands -- most notably the California metal group Huntress -- died Tuesday at age 43.

A representative for Janus confirmed the the news Thursday (Aug. 16) to Billboard, stating, “A longtime sufferer of mental illness, [Janus] 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 its inception in 2009, leading the metal outfit through three full-length albums, most recently 2015’s Static, released via Napalm Records. Over that time, they toured alongside bands like Motorhead, Lamb of God and DragonForce. Janus also provided lead vocals for two hard rock and metal cover bands: the Starbreakers and Chelsea Girls. Additionally, she was at work composing an extended piece called Victory: The Rock Opera with Trans-Siberian Orchestra guitarist Angus Clark. 

In a July 2015 interview with Loudwire, Janus opened up about numerous mental heath issues she’d dealt with since her teenage years. The vocalist revealed her battles with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and dissociative identity disorder, in addition to being treated for early-stage cancer around the time of the article.

Through it all, Janus remained prolific with her numerous creative projects. “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,” Huntress’ official statement reads. “She will be missed more than she could have ever known.” 

The band also called attention to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255), which provides support for those at risk of suicide.