The Mighty Logo

Jill Janus, Lead Singer of Metal Band Huntress, Dies by Suicide at Age 43

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

Jill Janus has died by suicide at age 43, according to heavy metal and hard rock news site Blabbermouth. She passed away on Tuesday, August 14. Janus is known as the lead singer of Huntress, an American heavy metal band founded in Highland Park, California.

Her family released the following statement to Blabbermouth:

It is with a heavy heart that we announce that Jill Janus — frontwoman for the California heavy metal band Huntress — passed away on Tuesday, August 14. A longtime 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…

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.

In a 2015 interview with Psychology Today, Janus talked about her experiences with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, dissociative identity disorder and alcoholism. She had previously attempted suicide at 16 but told the publication that music saved her. She said:

Music saved my life. My mother says I was singing before I could speak. I knew my purpose as soon as I could talk. It was always music. I relate to the mathematics behind music, it soothes my brain and helps me cope with my various disorders,

Fellow female rockers like Nita Strauss and Lzzy Hale posted tributes to Janus on social media. Strauss wrote:

Jill struggled with depression and mental illness for most of her life. I wouldn’t have known it unless she spoke about it so publicly. As a friend, she was kind, passionate, and generous, supportive to a fault, and ALWAYS willing to go the extra mile.

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


View this post on Instagram


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.

A post shared by LZZY HALE (@officiallzzyhale) on

If this news is hard for you, know you are not alone — and there is help for people who feel suicidal. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.

Image via Wikimedia Commons/Stefan Brending

Originally published: August 17, 2018
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home