Janus in 2014
|Also known as||Penelope Tuesdae|
|Born||September 2, 1975|
New York, U.S.
|Died||August 14, 2018 (aged 42)|
Portland, Oregon, U.S.
|Associated acts||Vexy Strut, Huntress, The Starbreakers, Chelsea Girls|
Early life and education
Janus was born in the Catskills Mountains and practiced paganism throughout her childhood. Growing up, she began singing opera before becoming interested in thrash metal as a teen. For her post-secondary education, Janus attended the American Musical and Dramatic Academy.
Janus started her music career working as a topless disc jockey under the name Penelope Tuesdae. She also worked in cabaret at the Windows on the World until the night before the September 11 attacks in New York. In 2003, Janus began her career in metal as a member of Vexy Strut and remained with the band until 2006. In 2009, she recruited members of the metal band Professor to join her newly formed band Huntress.
With Huntress, she was the lead singer during the band's three studio albums, the last of which was Static in 2015. 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.
Apart from her albums with Huntress, Janus filled in for Amon Amarth's lead singer Johan Hegg during a 2015 co-tour with Huntress. Janus's other projects outside of Huntress included membership of cover bands Chelsea Girls and The Starbreakers as their lead singer. She also co-wrote Victory: The Rock Opera with guitarist Angus Clark.
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. With heavy metal, Janus listed Rob Halford, King Diamond and Jared Warren as a few of her favourite singers. In terms of her voice, Janus said she had a four octave vocal range as a coloratura soprano. 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.
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.
On August 14, 2018, Janus committed suicide near Portland, Oregon. Some sources claim she died at the age of 43, though she said she was born in September 1975 making her 42 at the time.
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- Fernandez, Alexia (August 16, 2018). "Jill Janus, Frontwoman of Heavy Metal Rock Band Huntress, Dies By Suicide at 43". People. Retrieved August 17, 2018.
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- Bellino, Vince (August 16, 2018). "Huntress Singer Jill Janus Dead at 42". Decibel Magazine. Retrieved August 18, 2018.