Styx Reveals Death of Guitarist James Young’s Wife of 50 Years

by Taylor Cunningham
Steve Jennings / Contributor

Styx guitarist James Young lost his wife of 50 years last week.

The band shared the tragic news with its Twitter fans on Nov. 11. In a statement, it wrote that Susan Young passed away “peacefully at home with her devoted husband by her side”

“Susie was a tireless advocate for her husband’s rock n’ roll career in the band Styx,” the post continues. “She often spent years on end traveling with him and the Styx team on the road so they could be together. She was a constant source of encouragement and ‘wardrobe suggestions.’ JY and Susie were truly inseparable. Susie was beloved by all and will always be remembered.”

Styx did not share the cause of death. But the 71-year-old had been battling symptoms left from a stroke she had several years ago.

During a June 2022 interview with Creative Loafing, Young revealed that the stroke left Susan “immobile.” He explained that she wasn’t paralyzed, but she “essentially” had “no use of her right arm or leg.”

Young further explained that he had taken a break from songwriting and performing to care for her.

“Honestly, it’s my devotion to my better half, who’s been with me through thick and thin going back to the start of Styx, which was February 22, 1972, when we signed the first recording contract,” he admitted. ” My wife and I had been dating at that point in time.”

James Young Had Been Helping STYX Behind the Scenes While Caring For His Wife

Young went on to say that he and Susan fell in love fast and hard and moved in together before they got married, which “freaked” his “very conservative parents out.” However, they said “I do” shortly after the move, and they’ve been rock solid ever since.

Young juggled his duties at home with recording for some time, and he even worked on STYX’s most recent album, Crash of the Crown, which came out in 2021. But around that time, he noticed that the pandemic had “really set her for a loop.” And he knew that he needed to step back and “be at her side.”

To keep an income coming in, he continued managing the band’s finances, and he remained the “defacto co-leader” even though he was out of the spotlight.

“I kind of thought that maybe my career was over,” he continued. “But the good news is that with the band, I’m sort of…my grandfather had a construction company, and so I would always deal with the lawyers and the accountants because I had the knowledge after being in a family that had their own business.”