Jan Kuehnemund, the guitarist of all-female hair metal band Vixen, died yesterday at the age of 51. She had been battling cancer. The band revealed their loss earlier today via Facebook:
It is with profound sadness that we announce the sudden passing of Vixen founder and lead guitarist, Jan Kuehnemund, who lost a fierce battle with cancer on Thursday, October 10, 2013. Though most well known for her gifted guitar playing and other musical talents, Jan was a rare friend and beautiful in every sense of the word. Humble, thoughtful, loyal and kind, she was the most gracious of women, possessing the quiet strength of a true warrior. She genuinely loved and appreciated her friends and fans more than most could ever know. Those who were most fortunate to have known her and loved her are heartbroken at the loss of Jan, whose spirit will shine through her music eternally.
The band formed in 1974 in St. Paul MN when Kuehnemund was still in high school. A version of the band reformed in Los Angeles in 1980, and their debut album was released in 1988. The songs “Edge of a Broken Heart” and “Cryin’” were hits for the band, who released a follow up album, Rev it Up, in 1990 before disbanding. The band reformed in 1997 and had been playing since then.