Very sad news to report, as founding Vixen guitarist Jan Kuehnemund passed away from cancer at the age of 51 on Thursday, Oct. 10.

Kuehnemund formed the all-girl band Vixen in 1980 when she was still in high school, showing off her rock prowess at an early age. The band was signed to EMI in 1988 and released their platinum selling debut self-titled disc that same year. 'Vixen' spawned two smash hit singles, with ‘Edge of a Broken Heart’ and 'Cryin' making them a force to be reckoned with in the male-dominated industry. The band would go on to release two more studio albums during the late '80s and early '90s.

Vixen posted the following message on their Facebook page revealing the sad news and the cause of Kuehnemund’s death:

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.”

Vixen called it quits in 1991 but have reunited in several forms throughout the years. The latest lineup featuring Kuehnemund released 'Live in Sweden' in 2009. The other remaining members from the classic lineup (minus Kuehnemund) are currently playing under the name JSRG (featuring Janet Gardner on vocals, Share Gardner on bass and Roxy Petrucci on drums).

The staff at Loudwire would like to extend our sincere condolences to all of Kuehnemund’s family, friends and fans throughout the world.

Watch Vixen's Video For 'Edge of a Broken Heart'