However, unlike most who bemoaned the tragic loss of an icon of the industry, who most agree died before his time – Simmons has come out swinging, claiming that Prince chose to “kill himself” with alcohol and drugs, despite the fact that the cause of Prince’s death has yet to be established.
Simmons even compares the death of The Purple One to that of David Bowie, whom he says truly died a tragic death. “Bowie was the most tragic of all because it was real sickness,” Simmons told Newsweek. “All the other ones were a choice.”
“[Prince’s] drugs killed him. What do you think, he died from a cold?” said Simmons, who went on to describe the death as ‘pathetic.’ “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.”
Simmons himself claims to never have “been high or drunk in my life.”
Although doctors close to Prince have claimed that he may have had an opioid addiction, Prince’s own lawyer has rubbished previous media reports that drugs contributed to his early death. It’s important to note that the official cause of Prince’s death has yet to be confirmed.
Update 11/05/2015: Gene Simmons has posted a statement to twitter apologising for his comments and admitting he was wrong to have said them.
Simmons’ Kiss bandmate Paul Stanley took to twitter to apologise for his words. “Embarrassed by cold clueless statements re Prince’s death. Without all the facts better to say nothing. My apologies”, he tweeted.
Embarrassed by cold clueless statements re Prince's death. Without all the facts better to say nothing. My apologies https://t.co/Arb5XQ4o7l
— Paul Stanley (@PaulStanleyLive) May 10, 2016
Gallery: Prince’s Life In Pictures