JanKuehnemund650 Jan Kuehnemund, the founding member and lead guitarist for the all-female glam metal band Vixen, passed away on Thursday, October 10th after a long battle with cancer. She was 51. An official statement has not been released.

Kuehnemund was born on November 18th, 1961 in St. Paul, Minnesota and formed Vixen in high school. She and singer Janet Gardner moved the band to Los Angeles in 1985 and, within two years, the classic lineup was formed with Roxy Petrucci on drums and Share Pedersen on bass. The band was later signed to EMI.

Vixen’s self-titled debut was released in 1988 and spawned two hit singles, Cryin and Edge of a Broken Heart. The group appeared in the Penelope Spheeris film, The Decline of Western Civilization II: The Metal Years, and the band’s videos were featured heavily on MTV.

Vixen followed up their breakout success with Rev It Up in 1990, which yielded two singles, Love Is A Killer and How Much Love. The album did not have the same impact as the band’s debut, however, and they were dropped shortly after.

Vixen disbanded for several years but reformed with various new members until Kuehnemund returned in 2001. The band had a brief reunion of the classic lineup for VH1’s Bands Reunited in 2004, but soon went their separate ways. Kuehnemund continued as Vixen with new members and Gardner, Petrucci and Pedersen formed JanetShareRoxyGina (aka JSRG) with new guitarist Gina Stile.

Watch the band’s video for Edge of a Broken Heart below.

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  • Stu on

    So sad to hear about another member of the 80’s gang stepping out into eternity. You will never be forgotten Jan RIP \m/

  • Geno on

    I was never a big fan but I have a lot of respect for their musician ship and their ability. It really sucks that we (the rock n roll world) lost such a great musician. Condolences to the family, friends and true fans of Vixen! She will live on in her music and in the hearts of everyone who knew and loved her! R.I.P

  • vince on

    80’s metal lost another musician.

  • Rich Cudd on

    Sad news. All the best to friends and family.

  • Lorne Carter on

    I had the pleasure of meeting Jan and the other members of Vixen in 1991 when they did a benefit concert by a local radio station to send care packages to the troops. (during the first Iraq War) Extreme opened the show and put on a heck of a performance leaning on the just released Pornograffiti Vixen matched them in almost every way. And by almost I mean few guitarist of any gender at that time had a hard time keeping up with Nuno.

    Backstage the ladies visited with everyone, answered every questions (including if they actually knew Richard Marx who wrote Edge of a Broken Heart), signed everything put in front of them. Basically they were genuinely happy to meet the fans and appreciated the support. I ran into Jan in the hallway leaving and told her to “keep showing the boys how to play guitar.” She could tell I was kind of embarrassed by the remark but she gave me a thumbs up and said “see ya next time.”

    Some bad people get success they don’t deserve, some good people don’t get the success they deserve. I would put Jan in the latter category. Rest in Peace.

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