Jill Janus

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Jill Janiszewski
Huntress-Rock im Park 2014 by 2eight DSC6555.jpg
Janus in 2014
Background information
Also known asPenelope Tuesdae
Born(1975-09-02)September 2, 1975
New York City
DiedAugust 14, 2018(2018-08-14) (aged 42)
Portland, Oregon, U.S.
Genres Heavy metal
Occupation(s)Singer
Years active1998–2018
Associated actsVexy Strut, Huntress, The Starbreakers, Chelsea Girls

Jill Janiszewski (September 2, 1975 – August 14, 2018) [1] was the lead singer of American heavy metal bands Huntress, The Starbreakers and Chelsea Girls. [2]

Contents

Early life and education

Janus was born in the Catskills Mountains and practiced paganism throughout her childhood. [3] Growing up, she began singing opera before becoming interested in thrash metal as a teen. [4] For her post-secondary education, Janus attended the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. [5]

Career

Janus started her music career working as a topless disc jockey under the name Penelope Tuesdae. [6] She also worked in cabaret at the Windows on the World until the night before the September 11 attacks in New York. [4] In 2003, Janus began her career in metal as a member of Vexy Strut and remained with the band until 2006. [7] In 2009, she recruited members of the metal band Professor to join her newly formed band Huntress. [8]

With Huntress, she was the lead singer during the band's three studio albums, the last of which was Static in 2015. [9] In the fall of 2015, Janus announced to social media that Huntress was breaking up. She was later refuted by the band's guitarist Blake Meahl citing her mental health issues. [10]

Apart from her albums with Huntress, Janus filled in for Amon Amarth's lead singer Johan Hegg during a 2015 co-tour with Huntress. [11] Janus's other projects outside of Huntress included membership of cover bands Chelsea Girls and The Starbreakers as their lead singer. [5] She also co-wrote Victory: The Rock Opera with guitarist Angus Clark. [9] Janus also recorded vocals for Brian Posehn's album Grandpa Metal, which was released in 2020, featuring her performances on the song "Goblin Love" as well as a cover of "Take On Me".

Artistry

Janus's musical influences ranged from rock to heavy metal. In rock, Janus named Ann Wilson as an influence while citing Freddie Mercury as one of her vocal inspirations. [12] With heavy metal, Janus listed Rob Halford, King Diamond and Jared Warren as a few of her favourite singers. [13] Janus said she had a four octave vocal range as a coloratura soprano. [3] While she was in Huntress, Janus stated that each Huntress album respectively focused on a part of her life. Janus based each of the Huntress' albums on a part of the Triple Goddess in neopaganism. [4]

Personal life

In 2015, Janus disclosed to Revolver that she was living with bipolar disorder since her early teens. She was diagnosed with manic depression at age 20, then later diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder. Later in her life, she was experiencing dissociative identity disorder and schizophrenia. [14] [15]

That same year, Janus underwent a hysterectomy after she was diagnosed with uterine cancer. [16]

Death

On August 14, 2018, Janus died by suicide near Portland, Oregon. [17] Some sources claim she died at the age of 43, [18] though she said she was born in September 1975 [1] making her 42 at the time. [19]

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References

  1. 1 2 Friedman, Michael (September 17, 2015). "Jill Janus' New Beginning". Psychology Today. Retrieved August 17, 2018.
  2. Shepherd, Jack (August 17, 2018). "Heavy metal singer Jill Janus dies aged 43". Independent. Retrieved August 17, 2018.
  3. 1 2 Hartmann, Graham (June 7, 2012). "Huntress' Jill Janus Talks 'Spell Eater,' Practicing Witchcraft + More". Loudwire. Retrieved August 26, 2018.
  4. 1 2 3 Wise, Lauren (November 4, 2013). "Huntress' Jill Janus: I Despise The Glorification of Mediocrity in Metal". Phoenix New Times. Retrieved August 26, 2018.
  5. 1 2 "ALICE COOPER Guitarist NITA STRAUSS, HUNTRESS Singer JILL JANUS Join Forces in THE STARBREAKERS". Blabbermouth. February 9, 2017. Retrieved August 27, 2018.
  6. Pasbani, Robert. "HUNTRESS' Jill Janus Used To Be A Topless DJ (NSFW)". Metal Injection. Retrieved August 28, 2018.
  7. "Huntress Frontwoman Jill Janus Has Died". Loudwire. August 16, 2018. Retrieved August 26, 2018.
  8. "JILL JANUS' Pre-HUNTRESS Demo Song 'Back From The Dead To Kill' Posted Online". Blabbermouth. January 6, 2014. Retrieved August 26, 2018.
  9. 1 2 Payne, Chris (August 16, 2018). "Jill Janus, Vocalist of Metal Band Huntress, Dies at 43". Billboard. Retrieved August 27, 2018.
  10. Runtagh, Jordan. "Huntress Guitarist Denies Jill Janus' Announcement That The Band Is Breaking Up, Cites Her Mental Health Issues". VH1. Retrieved August 26, 2018.
  11. "AMON AMARTH Joined By HUNTRESS Singer JILL JANUS At Plymouth Concert; Video Available". Blabbermouth. January 18, 2015. Retrieved August 26, 2018.
  12. Forman, Bill (December 23, 2015). "Head Huntress". Colorado Springs Independent. Retrieved August 27, 2018.
  13. "Huntress Singer Jill Janus' Top 5: Vocalists". Metal Insider. June 3, 2013. Retrieved August 27, 2018.
  14. "Exclusive Interview: Huntress' Jill Janus Discusses Her Lifelong Battle with Mental Illness and Recent Cancer Diagnosis". Revolver. July 16, 2015. Archived from the original on July 18, 2015. Retrieved August 26, 2018.
  15. "Jill Janus' New Beginning". Psychology Today. September 17, 2015. Retrieved January 13, 2019.
  16. Henne, Bruce (July 20, 2015). "Jill Janus fought cancer alongside depression". Metal Hammer. Retrieved August 26, 2018.
  17. Fernandez, Alexia (August 16, 2018). "Jill Janus, Frontwoman of Heavy Metal Rock Band Huntress, Dies By Suicide at 43". People. Retrieved August 17, 2018.
  18. "Jill Janus, singer of the metal band Huntress, dies at 43". Associated Press. August 16, 2018. Retrieved December 29, 2018.
  19. Bellino, Vince (August 16, 2018). "Huntress Singer Jill Janus Dead at 42". Decibel Magazine. Retrieved August 18, 2018.