Jill Janus, rock singer and Huntress frontwoman, has died at the age of 42 of an apparent suicide, her bandmates said.
According to Loudwire, Huntress announced the tragic news in a statement made available on Thursday.
"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," the statement began. "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," the statement added, sharing some of Janus' biggest accomplishments. "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," the statement continued. "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," the statement concluded. "It provides free and confidential support 24 hours a day, seven days a week for people in suicidal crisis or distress."
Janus had previously spoken about her struggles with mental health issues in a 2015 interview with Psychology Today, admitting that she tried to take her own life for the first time when she was 16 years old.
"I was getting mandatory counseling at school but didn't see a psychiatrist until I was 20," Janus revealed. "I was then diagnosed manic-depressive and participated in a medical study at New York-Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan."
She was later diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, telling the outlet, "I've always seen and heard things others couldn't."
"Many visions or dreams would manifest into reality, which my family and friends described as my 'psychic ability.' This caused more drama at school, being called a 'freak' and getting beaten up," Janus added. "When I was 17, the visions and encounters with 'other-worldly creatures' was almost a daily occurrence."
A number of her musical peers have taken to social media to express their shock and sadness. Five Finger Death Punch bass player Chris Kael said she had "SUCH a powerful voice matched with an equally beautiful personality," and Madonna's guitarist Monte Pittman wrote that the news has left him "speechless" and "shattered."
If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).