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Sill, Judee

Category: Musician or composer

Judee Sill (born Judith Lynn Sill, 1944 – 1979) was an American singer and songwriter. The first artist signed to David Geffen's Asylum label, she released two albums, then worked briefly as a cartoonist before dying in 1979, aged only 35.

She was influenced by a very eclectic mix of sources - her music by 'Bach's metric forms and suites', while lyrically her work drew substantially on Christian themes of rapture and redemption.

Sill toured for a while with Graham Nash and David Crosby as their opening act and Graham Nash produced the first single for her first album. She sold her song "Lady-O" to The Turtles - Sill married keyboardist Bob Harris, who worked on her first album and was also involved with The Turtles.

What inspired her? Firstly there is grief. Sill's father and older brother both died in separate incidents when she was young. Her mother subsequently married Tom and Jerry animator Kenneth Muse in 1952. But her main driver was pain. Following a series of car accidents and failed surgery to rectify a painful back injury, Sill was given codeine to which she became addicted. She dropped out of the music scene, finally dying of a drug overdose, or "acute cocaine and codeine intoxication," on November 23, 1979, at her apartment on Morrison Street in North Hollywood.

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