”Pathetic.” That was the word that Gene Simmons used to describe Prince passing away. In a recent interview, he acknowledged the fact that he’s about the same age as rock superstars who have recently moved on from life, icons that include the heavy-hitters of rock & roll like David Bowie – who Simmons characterized as having a death that’s ”the most tragic of all because it was real sickness” while dismissing Prince’s passing because he believes that Prince died of drug overdose.
That’s right, the former Kiss frontman was as tactless as ever after virtually disrespecting Prince’s unfortunate death. Speaking to Newsweek, Gene Simmons talked about how heartbreaking Bowie’s departure was. When asked about Prince next, Simmons just bluntly said, ”His drugs killed him. What do you think, he died from a cold?”
”I think Prince was heads, hands and feet above all the rest of them. I thought he left [Michael] Jackson in the dust. Prince was way beyond that,” Simmons added, in respect to Prince’s career. ”But how pathetic that he killed himself. Don’t kid yourself, that’s what he did. Slowly, I’ll grant you, but that’s what drugs and alcohol is: a slow death.”
Of course, Gene Simmons received some backlash for his controversial comments on the recently deceased rock icon, and as expected, it didn’t take long for him to go on damage control.
In a written statement to address the situation, Simmons said:
”I just got such shit from my family for my big mouth again. I apologize – I have a long history of getting very angry at what drugs do to the families / friends of the addicts. I get angry at drug users because of my experience being around them coming up in the rock scene. In my experience they’ve made my life, and the lives of their loved ones, difficult. I was raised in a culture / crowd where drug addicts were written off as losers, and since that’s the narrative I grew up with, it’s been hard to change with the times.”
”Needless to say, I didn’t express myself properly here,” the Kiss frontman added in the prepared apology. ”I don’t shy away from controversy, and angry critics really don’t bother me at all. If I think I’m right, I’ll throw up a finger and dig my heels in and laugh. But this time, I was not. So, my apologies.”