Gene Simmons was born in Tirat Carmel, Israel on August 25, 1949. He is best known for being the bass guitar and vocalist of the rock band KISS. However, Simmons is also an actor and businessman.
Simmons was born with the name Chaim Witz. The family moved to the US in 1949. Before forming the rock band KISS, Simmons worked as an elementary schoolteacher. He also formed several bands during his teens.
During the early 1970s, he met Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss. Together they formed the band KISS. The self titled debut album came out in 1974. With their colorful makeup, high energy and rocking music, the band would become an international success.
Since the release of their first album, Simmons and KISS have sold over 80 million copies of their albums. They have performed in thousands of concerts and made numerous appearances on TV as well.
Simmons is known as the Demon in KISS and renowned for his bass guitar shaped like an axe. As the Demon in KISS, he is also recognized for the flame shaped afro and the armor.
Aside from being a vocalist and bassist of the band, Simmons also appears in movies. He first appeared in the 1978 film KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park. Simmons has also appeared in the 1984 film Runaway with Tom Selleck. Simmons was also in Wanted: Dead or Alive (1986) and in the 1990 film Red Surf.
Simons has also had guest appearances in various TV shows including “Third Watch”, “Miami Vice” and “Millennium”. He has his own fashion line called Dragonfly and a record label, Simmons Records.
He is the founder of Simmons Publishing which publishes numerous magazines and books. He is very much against drug use, and any artist who wants to join his record company is forbidden from using drugs.
Simmons supports the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation and several charitable organizations that give help to children, AIDS and other family support groups. In particular he has gone on record saying fathers need to take responsibility in the family. Simmons is also an advocate of cancer research. He is also encouraging people to have regular checkups for cancer.
Gene Simmons Politics
Simons is a liberal when it comes to social issues like abortion and gay rights. He has also gone on record saying he favors the foreign policy established by President George W. Bush. He also supported the US led invasion of Iraq.
In interviews Simmons has declared his gratitude for America. In particular he has expressed gratitude for America’s entry into World War II and for freeing the Jews from the Nazi concentration camps.
Repeatedly, he has stated his support for American soldiers fighting overseas. In 2006 Simmons declared his support for Israel in its conflict against Lebanon. He is also an ardent supporter of women’s rights and preserving the environment.
Gene Simmons lives in Beverly Hills, California with Shannon Tweed. They have two children, Nick (born 1989) and Sophie (born 1992).