Energetic rockstar Gene Simmons is as talented as he is loved by the community of rock fans. Through different generations from as far back as the 70s, his contribution to the genre has gone a long way in endearing the rock music to the hearts of many. Although he widely known now with his song being all the rave, his journey to acclaim and success was not devoid of the difficulty and challenges characteristic of such progression.
Besides his success in music that drew much attention his way, Simmons received a lot more attention over his marriage to former Playboy Playmate Shannon Simmons. However, through all the difficulties of his early life and marriage, Gene Simmons, his level of perseverance earned him the respect he still enjoys till date.
Gene Simmons’ Biography, Age
The Israeli-American was born into the home of Feri Witz, a carpenter in Israel and his wife Florence Klein, a Hungarian Jew who is also a Holocaust survivor, on August 25, 1949. The parental love they showered on him couldn’t be sustained as his parents broke up and he was left under the care of his mother, Flora Klein. Subsequently, his was not an easy going childhood but was rather characterized by poverty, struggles, and hardship. In 1958, his mother migrated with him to the United States and changed his name from Chaim Witz which was his given name at birth, to Eugene Klein which she felt would help him fit in better in their new home.
With a determined mother by his side, Gene Klein went on to attain a measure of education; he was first admitted to Yeshivah Torah Vodath, which was a Jewish educational institution where he studied for a year before moving on to study in a public school. He attended Jackson Height which gave him the first platform to create a band with his friends which he then named Lynx. The band recorded a measure of success at the time and even won a school competition.
Following the success of the band, Gene Simmons’ passion and desire to improve his musical career prompted him to want to leave school and rather dive into the music industry. His mother, however, discouraged the idea, knowing the importance of education. She encouraged him to rather complete his education first and then pursue his passion after. He went ahead to attend Sullivan County Community College, and Richmond College, New York, where he earned his Bachelors degree in 1970.
Having been gifted his first guitar by his mum, Gene Simmons kicked off his musical career after meeting guitarist Paul Stanley who shared his dreams of forming a band with him. The duo went formed Wicked Lester in the early 1970s and signed a contract with Epic records but left the band in 1972 without releasing an album.
Seeking new ventures in the music industry, the duo collaborated with drummer Peter Criss and guitarist Ace Frehley and formed the rock band, Kiss. The band adopted a comic styled theme which has been traced back to Gene Simmons’ love for comic books which he discovered after the move to the US with his mother. The band wore scary outfits and donned outrageous makeup with equally scary names to go with. Gene was known as The Demon.
The band’s path to success started with the release of their eponymous debut album titled Kiss in 1974 which was very successful and a good job of announcing their talent to music lovers and garnering them a huge number of fans. It was quickly followed by Hotter than Hell (1974) and Dressed to Kill (1975). The kiss went on to become a fan favorite as they kept on releasing good music through the years. Most of their works include ‘The Destroyer’ which was certified platinum in 1976, ‘Rock and Roll Over’, ‘Unmasked’ in 1980 and lots more. After the release of Unmasked in 1980, Gene Simmons decided to give a solo career a shot and began releasing his own albums such as ‘Creatures of the Night’ in 1982, ‘Lick it Up’ in 1983 and lots more.
Having achieved a measure of success in music, Simmons felt it was time to explore other aspects of his talent as an artist. He took a swing at acting and appeared in movies like Runaway (1984), Trick or Treat (1986), Detroit Rock City (1999), Wish You Were Dead (2001), Why Him? (2016) and more. His band continued to thrive despite the death of the drummer Eric Carr in 1991. His last released solo album is Monster (2012).
Gene Simmons has had many recognitions and awards to his name over the years. in 2011, a street was named after him in Dallas Texas. The next year in 2012, he received the Golden God award, given by Revolver magazine in addition to other recognitions.
Gene Simmons’ Wife, Daughter, Son
Gene Simmons raised a lot of eyebrows with his admission of promiscuity which did not come as a surprise to many who knew him. During his active years as a young and good looking musician, Simmons dated and had affairs with a huge number of women who by his own admission are over 5,000. The rockstar made headlines for his love triangle with star musicians Cher and Diana Ross who he claimed he fell in love with almost at the same time.
However, he met Shannon Tweed, former Playboy Playmate back in 1983 at the peak of his career and they kicked off a romantic entanglement that saw them remain together unmarried for 28 years until they finally made it to the altar in 2011. The couple had their two kids long before they got married. Their first son Nick Simmons was born on the 22nd day of January 1989 and has followed his father’s step to becoming a writer and a musician. Their second child and only daughter Sophie was born on July 7, 1992. She is also a singer and TV personality advocate for children.
Family – Mother
Gene Simmons was raised and educated solely by his mother Florence Klein who moved to the US with him after her marriage to his father Feri Witz ended in a divorce. Florence’s original name at birth in Jánd, Hungary was Flóra Kovács. She and her mother and brother were the only survivors of the Holocaust. After her move to the US with her only child, Florence struggled to provide the best life she could manage for Simmons and was his only support system his career had him gaining fans from all over the world.
The rock star has had a successful life despite his poor beginnings. He is also not lacking in height as he stands at the tall height 6 feet 4 inches.