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Jill Janus, singer of the metal band Huntress, dead at 43

FILE - In this Sept. 24, 2016 file photo, Jill Janus of Huntress performs at Ozzfest 2016 at San Manuel Amphitheater in San Bernardino, Calif. Janus, lead singer of the heavy metal band Huntress, has died at age 43. A statement from Janus' bandmates and family released Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018, through publicist Alexandra Greenberg said Janus had long struggled with mental illness, and killed herself outside Portland, Ore., on Tuesday, Aug. 14. 

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PORTLAND, Ore. — Jill Janus, lead singer of the heavy metal band Huntress, has died at age 43, her family and band said Thursday. The musician died by suicide.

Janus had long struggled with mental illness, and killed herself outside Portland, Oregon, on Tuesday, her relatives and bandmates said in a statement released through publicist Alexandra Greenberg.

Janus fronted Huntress from the group's inception in Los Angeles in 2009, singing on three full-length albums and on tours with bands including Motorhead and Lamb of God.

Founding member Blake Meahl said on his Facebook page Thursday that he and Janus "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," Meahl added.

I dont do much posting of things, and to post on something so personal and painful is extra strange but it feels...

Posted by Blake Meahl on Thursday, August 16, 2018

Other artists in the metal community also remembered Janus on social media. 

Hard rocker Lzzy Hale begged for those struggling with mental illness to seek help.

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

Comedian and actor Brian Posehn said Janus was his friend, adding that she was "the coolest metal chick ever."

The band's sound was classic thrash-inflected metal, with Janus, one of the few female vocalists in the genre, screaming through songs like "Spell Eater," ″Eight of Swords," and "Sorrow" with her long blonde hair and tight, black leather stage suits.

She also sang in an all-female metal band known as The Starbreakers on the side.

Janus had been an advocate for mental health and encouraged fans who were suffering to seek help. Her struggles with bi-polar disorder nearly brought an end to the band in 2018, but they returned for another album and more touring.

The family statement urges those considering harming themselves to call the national suicide-prevention hotline.