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Gene Simmons on Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain: ‘Just Because You Died That Makes You an Icon? No’

Gene Simmons and Kurt Cobain
Kevin Winter/Frank Micelotta, Getty Images

While Kiss have certainly carved out their own chapter in music history, Gene Simmons recently shared his thoughts on the current state of the music industry for new bands, the challenges that they face and the disappearance of the rock icon.

Simmons talked about the future of the rock icon in detail, sharing, “There won’t be another Beatles or another Prince or another Kiss because there isn’t that support system.” He continued, “There are no record companies because kids have decided they can download and file share and bypass paying the artists what they rightfully should be getting.”

In the interview with Team Rock Radio, Simmons challenged anyone to name 100 iconic superstars from the years of 1958 through 1983. Simmons then took his own challenge, answering, “Let me see – Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, The Who.” He kept going, adding, “And through the ’70s – Aerosmith, Kiss, Led Zeppelin on and on.”

Simmons continued, asking the interviewer, “Now from 1984 until today which is over thirty years I think, name one superstar that’s bigger than their music, and not just somebody that’s recorded one or two records, but another Queen or another AC/DC? Just name one.”

Simmons again went on to answer the question himself, saying, “Kurt Cobain – no, that’s one or two records, that’s not enough. Amy Winehouse – that’s one or two records, that’s not enough. What, just because you died that makes you an icon? No, no. There aren’t any.”

Simmons summed up his point saying that he felt the times have changed and “the whole business is dead.” Listen to the full interview below to hear what else he had to say on this topic and more.

Listen to the Full Gene Simmons Interview with Team Rock Radio:

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