Helena Meghan Nguyen of Atlanta, GA, died on August 31, 2019, after complications following pneumonia. She was 52.
Born April 8, 1967, in Birmingham, AL, Helena was an intuitive musician who began singing almost as soon as she had learned to speak. She received guitar and voice lessons as a child and quickly took up open mics, musicals and karaoke. In 1985, she cut her first solo album, Letting Go. In 1988, she joined the band Death Kitten, where she served as the lead guitarist and backing vocalist until 2007. During that time, her energy and charisma helped bring diehard fans to the band, and their popularity exploded over her most famous contribution, "My Love Is a Tornado."
"Helena had a style, in her writing and her performance, that made you want to open your eyes and learn the story of every person around you," said bandmate Pete Stone. "She was unequivocally herself, and her music really encouraged that in others."
In addition to collaborative and solo music projects, Helena was an LGBT activist who was outspoken on issues affecting the transgender community. "She fought against bigotry with her art and her whole life. That was her full-time job," said her husband.
Helena is survived by her husband, Scott Carroway of Atlanta, GA; her sister, Maya Nguyen of Birmingham, AL; and her found family of musicians, collaborators, bandmates and fans.
Privates services will be held. Condolences and flowers may be directed to Kim Waters at 123 Any Street, Atlanta, GA.
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