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Q Lazzarus, Mysterious Singer of Cult Hit 'Goodbye Horses', Dead at 59

Q Lazzarus AKA Diane Luckey
Q Lazzarus is dead and this time there will be no coming back.

Diane Luckey — the woman behind the enigmatic figure that once captured the imagination of the music world — has passed away at 59.

According to an obituary released by New Jersey's Jackson Funeral Home, the Garden State native died on July 19, following a short illness.

Born in Neptune, New Jersey, on Dec. 12, 1962, she leaves behind "Goodbye Horses," a single that became a cult hit after its use as a soundtrack to a pivotal moment in 1991's "The Silence of the Lambs."

Her disappearance following the success of the song, made possible only by a fateful cab ride with the movie's director, Jonathan Demme, was one of music's greatest mysteries until the efforts of persistent journalists Kelsey Chapstick and Thomas Gorton, got her to come out of her self-imposed exile in 2018 and set the record straight.

“Hi, sorry to bother you. I just wanted people to know I am still alive, I have no interest in singing anymore. I am a bus driver in Staten Island (I have been for YEARS), I see hundreds of passengers everyday so I am hardly hiding (or dead!)," she wrote to Chapstick in a direct message on Twitter. "I have given Thomas Gorton (Dazed) my fone number and address just to confirm I am ‘real’, sorry if this is a boring end to the story, I am going to come off twitter soon as I find it odd, please take note of this message incase anyone else is interested. THANK YOU."

The duo did not take Luckey at her word. Lazzarus had been famously private and was never billed by her real name during her career. Following their investigation, however, the two were convinced of the woman's sincerity, even though Luckey, nor her family, cooperated with them further.

It was a wild reveal. During her time away from music fan theories had run rampant as to the reason. The fact that she never collected royalties that were due to her for her song deepened the mystery. Even the songs writer, and Luckey's former bandmate in Q Lazzarus and the Resurrection, William Garvey, speculated she had died before he passed away in 2009.

Her obituary filled in some of the gaps in her story. It reveals Luckey moved to New York City at the age of 18 and "immediately started working at Sigma Sounds Studio as a backup singer and writing jingles for commercials. Shortly thereafter, she started writing songs, recording music, and headlining concerts under the name Q Lazzarus."

It was during this time in the 1980s that she connected with Demme during one of the many side gigs she used to support her music career. She picked up the director while working as a cabbie and played him her demo. The director was immediately infatuated with the music and used the song “Candle Goes Away” in his 1986 film "Something Wild."

When Luckey’s signature song, "Goodbye Horses", was released in 1988, it was included in Demme's film "Married to the Mob." It did not become a cult hit, though, until its inclusion in 1991's Oscar winner for best picture, "The Silence of the Lambs."

After appearing in Demme’s next film, 1993’s Philadelphia, as a musician covering the Talking Heads’ “Heaven,” Luckey disappeared from public view.

During that time the multi-talented instrumentalist moved to London and toured before moving on to other pursuits, including a long journey through South America and six months spent on a fishing boat in Alaska, according to her obituary:

She also performed at and hosted many parties at large clubs and arenas in London and collaborated with her friend Danny Z on house music tracks when back in the United States.
At the time of her death, Diane was finishing work on a feature documentary about her life and music with filmmaker and friend, Eva Aridjis. 

The film is scheduled to be released in 2023, along with an album of songs spanning her entire musical career.

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