Today, Jill would have turned 43. Instead of being a day of celebration, her family, friends and fans grieve her loss. The truest tragedy was that she lost her battle with mental-illness to suicide. Sadly and coincidentally, I didn't learn of her passing until today.
I was given the pleasure of being introduced to the band back in 2013 during the Monster Energy Mayhem Festival in Scranton, PA. The moment I first heard her belt out that powerful voice of hers, I instantly fell in love. Her presence on stage was phenomenal, she not only rocked the cape but man, she really knew how to rile up a crowd. With no uncertainty she was a fucking force to be reckoned with.
She was a rarity; classically trained to sing opera the woman would devote her musical career toward thrash metal - a genre heavily masculine and rarely trekked by women. Whatever challenges and bullshit she might've faced as an artist by an often critical audience, she soared and earned herself a loyal fanbase, consisting of both men and women.
I am incredibly saddened to hear of her loss, and my heart goes out to her family and friends. To celebrate her birthday, her loved ones have organized a fundraiser in her name toward a cause she cared most about - animal rescue. You can find the link to the fundraiser here, where you can donate and leave a message for Jill.
Those unfamiliar with Jill and her band, Huntress, I invite you to take a listen to one of her most well-known songs, co-written by the late and great Lemmy Kilmister.
With Suicide Prevention Week coming up soon, I implore you to not only help others who may be struggling with mental-illness, but to take care of yourself as well. Mental health is a serious issue, and should not be taken lightly. The Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273-8255 or you can also chat with someone who can help.