Diane Luckey, the musician known as Q Lazzarus, has died at the age of 61. Luckey is best known for her 1988 track “Goodbye Horses,” which was prominently featured in the 1990 film The Silence of the Lambs. The song was used in the scene where serial killer Buffalo Bill eerily talks to himself in the mirror.
A late July obituary published in the Asbury Park Press said the New Jersey native died on July 19 after a brief illness. Eva Aridjis, a friend of Luckey’s, confirmed her death to Rolling Stone.
Luckey was born on Dec. 12, 1960, in Neptune, N.J. She moved to New York when she was 18 and began working at Sigma Sounds Studio as a backup singer. She started performing and recording as Q Lazzarus in the ’80s with her backup band the Resurrection. Luckey was a talented multi-instrumentalist and songwriter, playing guitar and piano. She also toured in the U.K. for several years.
While working as a taxi cab driver in New York, Luckey picked up director Jonathan Demme. According to Arijdis, Luckey played a cassette of her own music in the car, and Demme liked what he heard. He ended up using a few of her recordings in his films, including “The Candle Goes Away” (Something Wild), and “Goodbye Horses” (Married to the Mob, Philadelphia). Luckey also appeared in Philadephia, where she covered the Talking Heads’ “Heaven.”
Luckey never secured a record deal, and following her role in Philadelphia, she disappeared from music and those close to her.
Aridjis is making a documentary about Luckey, appropriately titled Goodbye Horses: The Many Lives of Q Lazzarus, which will be released next year alongside “an album of songs spanning her entire musical career.”