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Jill Janus, frontwoman of the heavy metal band Huntress, killed herself this week, according to the band.
Janus’ band shared the news via a statement on social media on Thursday, writing in a Facebook post that Janus had taken her own life outside of Portland, Oregon on Tuesday. The statement further described the 43-year-old lead singer as a “long-time sufferer of mental illness” who spoken openly about her own struggles in the hopes of inspiring others.
“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.”
Janus had performed as the frontwoman of the California metal band since its creation in 2009, Fox News reports. In a 2015 interview with Psychology Today, Janus opened up about her battle with mental illness, revealing that she struggled with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, dissociative identity disorder, and alcoholism for much of her life. Music, she explained, had played an instrumental role in helping her cope.
“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,” she said. “I relate to the mathematics behind music. It soothes my brain and helps me cope with my various disorders.”
She added, “Music is the only way I ever knew how to cope.”
In addition to mental health battles, Janus also fought to maintain her physical health after being diagnosed with Stage 1 uterine cancer in 2015. After a hysterectomy that year, she was cancer-free, Psychology Today reports.
If you are struggling with depression or thoughts of suicide, free and confidential help can be found by contacting the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK).
[Photo: Jill Janus attends the 6th Annual Revolver Golden Gods Award Show at Club Nokia on April 23, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. By Frazer Harrison/Getty Images]