March 9, 2009 —The wife of Christian musician Michael Sweet died Thursday after a two-year battle with ovarian cancer. She was 52.
Sweet, who co-founded the Christian hard-rock band Stryper in 1983, had asked fans to pray for Kyle Rae Sweet, his wife of 22 years, in an open letter sent in January.
In a letter posted on his Web site Tuesday, Sweet said his wife had recently become too weak to receive treatment. “There have been many complications over the past six weeks, and from the time she was released from [Brigham and Women’s Hospital] back in January, we’ve been battling a long list of issues on many different levels,” he said.
Although she earned a degree in child psychology, Kyle Rae Sweet was once a professional makeup artist who worked on such films as The Terminator, Wisdom, Teen Wolf and Ghost. The couple met when she agreed to do makeup for Stryper’s first video, “You Know What to Do,” as a favor.
“She was God-sent, yet it took me a while to realize this,” Sweet said. “She stood by my side during an unstable time in my life and always loved me unconditionally, no matter what.”
Stryper sold millions of albums during the 1980s and was a Grammy Award-nominated band whose music soaked up plenty of airtime on MTV. The band’s hit song, “Honestly,” broke into secular pop music’s Top 40.
After breaking up in 1992 due to a loss of artistic direction, Sweet released solo projects over the years and also helped regroup Stryper in 2003. The band released Reborn in 2005 and is slated to release Murder by Pride this year.
In a statement released Friday, Sweet said his wife dedicated her life to caring for her husband and homeschooling their two children-Michael Jr., 22; and Ellena, 18.
Funeral services have not been announced. In lieu of flowers, the family has asked for contributions to be made to a college fund for the Sweet children.