Gene Simmons apologizes for branding Prince’s death ‘pathetic’
Gene Simmons has apologized for branding Prince’s death "pathetic".
The Kiss frontman caused controversy over his remarks about the ‘Purple Rain’ hitmaker – whose death last month is believed to be connected with an addiction to painkillers – after claiming the 57-year-old star made a "choice" to "slowly" kill himself with "drugs and alcohol" but has now said sorry for his comments.
The ‘Crazy Crazy Nights’ singer – who has son Nick, 27, and daughter Sophie, 23, with his wife Shannon Tweed – admitted even his family were furious with what he had said, but was speaking from his own experiences of being around drug addicts, though he has now accepted his comments were "wrong".
In a statement on Twitter, he posted: "I just got such s*** 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 – 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. (sic)"
The 66-year-old rocker’s bandmate, guitarist-and-singer Paul Stanley, 64, has also apologized on behalf of Gene and said the comments were "cold" and "clueless" and "embarrassed" him.
Taking to his Twitter account on Tuesday (05.10.16), he wrote: "Embarrassed by cold clueless statements re Prince’s death. Without all the facts better to say nothing. My apologies (sic)"
Gene caused controversy when he insisted Prince’s death was not as "tragic" as David Bowie’s passing from cancer in January, insisting the ‘Raspberry Beret’ hitmaker’s stemmed from a "choice" he had made.
He said: "Bowie was the most tragic of all because it was real sickness. All the other ones were a choice."
Asked if he thought Prince’s death was tragic, he added: "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. 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."