Vixen guitarist Jan Kuehnemund succumbed to cancer at age 51. She helped form the all female quintet Vixen in the 1980’s. In doing this, Jan helped Vixen break the barriers of a male dominated industry. They ended up with two hits “Cryin” and “Edge of a Broken Heart” (wrote by Richard Marx).
The following was posted on Vixen’s Facebook page:
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.
Jan was very courageous. Never complained. Never gave up. The cancer beat her body but it NEVER broke her spirit at any point. Up until the actual moment that she died, she really believed she was going back home.
Jan… you will be missed.. but never forgotten.”
Jan’s former band mates JRSG posted the following on their page:
On behalf of JSRG which includes the three original members of Vixen, Janet Gardner, Share Ross, Roxy Petrucci along with Gina Stile are heartbroken to announce the sudden passing of Vixen founder and lead guitarist, Jan Kuehnemund who lost a valiant battle with cancer on Thursday, October 10, 2013.
Much more than simply a brilliant guitarist and amazing songwriter, Jan was one of the kindest souls you could ever hope to meet. She remembered everyone’s birthdays and special occasions with gifts and was one of the most gracious women on the planet.
Through her year long battle with cancer, Jan was very courageous. She never complained and never gave up. The cancer beat her body but it never broke her spirit at any moment.
For those of you who wondered why Vixen never reunited, we actually did reunite.
We had resolved our differences and were whole heartedly looking forward to playing together again.
In January, 2013 only days before the announcement was to be made public, Jan was given her cancer diagnosis. She requested that we keep her illness private and out of respect for her wishes when press and fans asked us why we were not back together, we replied “it’s a matter of timing.”
Since then we’ve been in regular contact with her and offered our loving support while continually hoping to make 2014 the year of Vixen.
However, it was not meant to be.
Our condolences go out to her family. Memorial services will be announced at a later date.
Jan, you will be missed. But never forgotten.
Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.
The staff at BackstageAxxess would like to express our deepest sympathies to Kuehnemund family, friends and fans.