UPDATED 9:25 p.m. EST: After receiving backlash for his controversial comments on Prince’s death, Gene Simmons has released the following apology:
Mere weeks after sharing his polarizing opinion on rap, Gene Simmons is back and calling Prince's death "pathetic." In a new interview with Newsweek, the KISS member shared his opinion in comparison to David Bowie's death earlier this year. “Bowie was the most tragic of all because it was real sickness. All the other ones were a choice."
Simmons elaborated on his answer, specifically targeting Prince. “His drugs killed him. What do you think, he died from a cold?" He added Prince was a huge talent who "was heads, hands and feet above all the rest of them. I thought he left [Michael] Jackson in the dust." Still, Simmons criticized the late legend. "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.” Simmons continued by telling the interviewer, "I've never been high or drunk in my life." It should be noted addiction is defined as a "complex" and "chronic, often relapsing brain disease" by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Prince was found dead at his Paisley Park estate on April 21. Despite some rumored reports, results from his autopsy are still pending and likely won't be available for several weeks. Officials from the Drug Enforcement Administration and the US Attorney's Office joined the investigation looking into Prince's death. Prince was reportedly going to meet with an opioid addiction specialist the day after his death.
Along with sharing his opinion on Prince's death, Gene Simmons also clarified his recent comments about rap and insisted he didn't mean it in a mean-spirited way "Of course I don’t want it to die," he said. "But it will. Rock dies, rap dies—doo-wop died...That Chuck Berry stuff is gone. Folk rock went. All things will pass. This idea that music will last forever is delusional." You can read the full interview here.