|Source of Wealth:
|Singer, Musician, Actor, Television personality, Entrepreneur
|August 25, 1949
|Hard rock, Heavy metal
|6ft. 1 in.(1.85m)
Gene Simmons is an American singer, musician, actor, television personality, and entrepreneur, known for by his stage persona "the Demon". He is the bassist and co-lead singer of the American rock band, Kiss.
Chaim Witz was born on August 25, 1949 in Haifa, Israel. His parents were Florence Klein and Ferenc "Feri" Yehiel Witz. Her father was a carpenter. He spent his childhood in Tirat Carmel where he was raised in a practicing Jewish household. He also practiced playing guitar at an early age. When he was 7, he started picking wild fruit and sell it on roadsides together with his friend.
Simmon and his mother emigrated to the United States and settled in New York City at the age eight. He changed his name to Eugene Klein, adopting his mother's maiden name. He attended to a Jewish religious school, Yeshiva Torah Vodaas, and then transferred to a public school. He attended Richmond College and Sullivan County Community College. He worked on several jobs in the city such as in the fashion magazine Vogue, where he served as an assistant to an editor, and also worked as a sixth grade instructor on the Upper West Side.
When Simmons was a teenager, he was a member of the band, Lynx, which was his first band. Eventually, he disbanded the band to form the Long Island Sounds. Simmons and Stanley Eisen formed the band Wicked Lester, but later on quit. The two decided to form the "ultimate rock band", and began to look for a drummer. They found an ad of George Peter John Criscuola who was playing in some clubs in Brooklyn. The three ended up forming out as a trio, and later on was joined by Paul Frehley, their lead guitar player.
Their band, Kiss, released their self-titled debut album on February 1974. The story behind the eye section of his "Demon" makeup with Kiss was from the wing design of the comic book character Black Bolt. However in 1983, as their fame was waning, the members decided to took off their trademark make-up and enjoyed the popularity that lasted into the year 1990s.
Simmons plays the bass, and lead vocals are split between him and rhythm guitarist, Paul Stanley, for which mostly Kiss songs. Simmons is also known for his long tongue that he mostly sticks out when performing.
Aside from Simmons' popularity, he also made several controversial public statements that left him viewed as "holier-than-thou" attitude in Terry Gross' book "All I Did Was Ask". Simmons told Gross a lyric from a song of an English rock band, the Who, paraphrasing it "if you want to welcome me with open arms, I'm afraid you're also going to welcome me with open legs". This also leads to mislabeling Simmons' band Kiss as "the Kiss".
Simmons also boasted several times in some interviews that he had bedded thousand of women already. He claimed that it estimates about 5,000 and that he has a polaroid picture of each liaison, even the hotel key where it happened. In 2019, musician and songwriter Ace Frehley stated that Simmons attempted to touch his wife, and called Simmons as an "asshole and a sex addict".
He was banned for life from Fox News program his appearance on the morning talk program, Fox & Friends, which took place on November 16, 2017. Simmons burst into a staff meeting uninvited, unbuttoned his shirt and was telling jokes.
Simmons started dating his wife, Shannon Lee Tweed, a former Playboy Playmate and actress, in 1983. After 28 years of dating, on October 1, 2011, the couple married and have two children: son, Nick, and daughter, Sophie. Simmons mostly paraphrased Groucho Marx, saying "Marriage is an institution, and I don't want to live in an institution".
Simmons is also a science fiction and comic book fan, and has published various science-fiction fanzines including Id, Cosmos, Mantis and Adventure, Sci-Fi Showcase, and Tinderbox. He can speak Hungarian, English, some Japanese, Hebrew, and German. Simmons also does not do drugs, or drink alcohol.
In political views, Simmons supports the foreign policy of the George W. Bush administration. He also attended a Friends of the Israel Defense Forces on November 6, 2015, and raised over $31 million.
Simmons has his own magazine, Gene Simmons Tongue Magazine, which was launched on 2002. He also has his own label, Simmons Records, and has released several albums by the bands Silent Rage, Gypsy Rose, House of Lords, and more. As of today, Simmons has an estimated net worth of $390 million.