Jill Janus

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

Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom. With roots in blues rock, psychedelic rock, and acid rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. The genre's lyrics and performance styles are sometimes associated with aggression and machismo.

Huntress (band) band

Huntress is an American heavy metal band. It was founded in the underground music scene of Highland Park, California when lead vocalist Jill Janus moved to Los Angeles where she met an underground metal band called 'Professor' in 2009. Huntress was signed by Napalm Records in November 2011. A debut EP Off with Her Head was released in 2010. On December 27, 2011, they released their first single, "Eight of Swords", to promote their debut album, Spell Eater.


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]

Paganism non-Abrahamic religion, or modern religious movement such as nature worship

Paganism, is a term first used in the fourth century by early Christians for people in the Roman Empire who practiced polytheism. This was either because they were increasingly rural and provincial relative to the Christian population, or because they were not milites Christi. Alternate terms in Christian texts for the same group were hellene, gentile, and heathen. Ritual sacrifice was an integral part of ancient Graeco-Roman religion and was regarded as an indication of whether a person was pagan or Christian.

Opera artform combining sung text and musical score in a theatrical setting

Opera is a form of theatre in which music has a leading role and the parts are taken by singers, but is distinct from musical theater. Such a "work" is typically a collaboration between a composer and a librettist and incorporates a number of the performing arts, such as acting, scenery, costume, and sometimes dance or ballet. The performance is typically given in an opera house, accompanied by an orchestra or smaller musical ensemble, which since the early 19th century has been led by a conductor.

Thrash metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal music characterized by its overall aggression and often fast tempo. The songs usually use fast percussive beats and low-register guitar riffs, overlaid with shredding-style lead work. The lyrics often deal with social issues and criticism of The Establishment, using direct and denunciatory language, an approach borrowed from hardcore punk.


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]

Disc jockey person who plays recorded music for an audience

A disc jockey, often abbreviated as DJ, is a person who plays existing recorded music for a live audience. Most common types of DJs include radio DJ, club DJ who performs at a nightclub or music festival and turntablist who uses record players, usually turntables, to manipulate sounds on phonograph records. Originally, the disc in disc jockey referred to gramophone records, but now DJ is used as an all-encompassing term to describe someone who mixes recorded music from any source, including cassettes, CDs or digital audio files on a CDJ or laptop. The title DJ is commonly used by DJs in front of their real names or adopted pseudonyms or stage names. In recent years it has become common for DJs to be featured as the credited artist on tracks they produced despite having a guest vocalist that performs the entire song: like for example Uptown Funk.

Cabaret event venue

Cabaret is a form of theatrical entertainment featuring music, song, dance, recitation, or drama. It is mainly distinguished by the performance venue, which might be a pub, a restaurant or a nightclub with a stage for performances. The audience, often dining or drinking, does not typically dance but usually sits at tables. Performances are usually introduced by a master of ceremonies or MC. The entertainment, as done by an ensemble of actors and according to its European origins, is often oriented towards adult audiences and of a clearly underground nature. In the United States striptease, burlesque, drag shows, or a solo vocalist with a pianist, as well as the venues which offer this entertainment, are often advertised as cabarets.

Windows on the World complex of venues in the North Tower of the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan

Windows on the World was a complex of venues on the top floors of the North Tower of the original World Trade Center complex in Lower Manhattan. It included a restaurant called Windows on the World, a smaller restaurant called Wild Blue, a bar called The Greatest Bar on Earth, and rooms for private functions. Developed by restaurateur Joe Baum and designed initially by Warren Platner, Windows on the World occupied 50,000 square feet of space in the North Tower. The restaurants operated from April 19, 1976 until September 11, 2001 when they were destroyed in the September 11 attacks.

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]

<i>Static</i> (Huntress album) 2015 studio album by Huntress

Static is the third album by Highland Park, California heavy metal band Huntress. It was released on September 25, 2015. The album title, track listing and cover were announced on June 15, with an audio snippet of the song "Flesh".

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]

Amon Amarth Swedish metal band

Amon Amarth is a Swedish melodic death metal band from Tumba, formed in 1992. The band takes its name from the Sindarin name of Mount Doom, a volcano in J. R. R. Tolkien′s Middle-earth. Their lyrics mostly deal with Viking mythology and history, and so they have been linked with viking metal, although the band themselves prefer to be referred to as melodic death metal. The band is composed of lead guitarist Olavi Mikkonen, vocalist Johan Hegg, bassist Ted Lundström, rhythm guitarist Johan Söderberg, and drummer Jocke Wallgren. Amon Amarth has released ten studio albums, one compilation album, one EP, one video album, and ten music videos. Its first studio album, Once Sent from the Golden Hall, debuted in 1998. Five more studio releases followed, before the band saw its breakthrough with the 2008 album Twilight of the Thunder God, which debuted at No. 10 on the Swedish album charts and No. 50 on the US Billboard 200. Three more albums, Surtur Rising, Deceiver of the Gods, and Jomsviking followed in 2011, 2013, and 2016, respectively.

Angus Clark is a guitarist, singer, songwriter, and producer. He has toured with the internationally renowned and Grammy-winning New Age artist Kitaro, as well as with the hard rock acts Drill and Naked Sun, and is currently touring with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra and DareDevil Squadron. Clark is also an on-stage guitarist with the fictional 1980s rock band Arsenal in the Broadway musical Rock of Ages.


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] In terms of her voice, 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's albums on a part of the Triple Goddess in neopaganism. [4]

Ann Wilson American rock musician, member of Heart

Ann Dustin Wilson is an American musician, best known as the lead singer and songwriter of the hard rock band Heart. Wilson was listed as one of the "Top Heavy Metal Vocalists of All Time" by Hit Parader magazine in 2006. Wilson has a dramatic soprano vocal range.

Freddie Mercury British singer-songwriter and record producer

Freddie Mercury was a British singer-songwriter, record producer and lead vocalist of the rock band Queen. He is regarded as one of the greatest singers in the history of popular music, and was known for his flamboyant stage persona and four-octave vocal range.

Rob Halford English rock singer

Robert John Arthur Halford is an English singer and songwriter. He is best known as the lead vocalist for the Grammy Award-winning heavy metal band Judas Priest. He is famous for his powerful wide-ranging voice and his now-trademark leather-and-studs image, both of which became revolutionary in heavy metal. In addition to his work with Judas Priest, he has been involved with several side projects, including Fight, Two, and Halford.

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]


On August 14, 2018, Janus committed 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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  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.
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  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. The Associated Press (August 16, 2018). "Jill Janus, singer of the metal band Huntress, dies at 43". The Associated Press. Retrieved December 29, 2018.
  19. Bellino, Vince (August 16, 2018). "Huntress Singer Jill Janus Dead at 42". Decibel Magazine. Retrieved August 18, 2018.