Judee Sill (October 7, 1944 – November 23, 1979).
American pianist, guitarist, singer-songwriter born in Oakland, California; she rebelled against her mother’s remarrage to animator Ken Muse, eventually turning to petty crime and serving time in the early 60s. Around this time she became a heroin addict, eventually kicking the habit as she started to pursue a musical career.
Her song “Lady-O” became a hit for the Turtles in 1969, and she caught the attention of David Crosby and Graham Nash, and playing with them as an opening act. She was signed to David Geffen’s Asylum Records, and became part of the “Laurel Canyon Sound” made famous by Joni Mitchell and Carole King.
Two albums, Judde Still in 1971 and Heart Food in 1972 were critically acclaimed, with a song from the first, “Jesus Was a Cross-Maker” getting her airplay and being covered by the Hollies. She also recorded demos for a third album in 1974, which were released with other rarities on the 2005 two-disc collection Dreams Come True. Many of her songs reflected her interests in Christian spirituality and metaphysics.
After a series of car accidents and back surgery which left her in constant physical pain, she struggled with drug addiction and dropped out of the music scene, finally dying of a drug overdose on November 23, 1979, at her apartment on Morrison Street in North Hollywood.