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KISS' Gene Simmons Says Prince's Death Was "Pathetic"

KISS' Gene Simmons isn't known for holding his long, snakelike tongue, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer didn't hold back when asked to comment in a new Newsweek interview about the recent deaths of music icons David Bowie and Prince.

"Bowie was the most tragic of all because it was real sickness," said Simmons, who was less sympathetic about Prince's passing.

"His drugs killed him. What do you think, he died from a cold?" the veteran rocker declared.

Gene added that while he thought Prince was "hands and feet above all the rest of them [and an artist,]…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."

It must be noted that Prince's cause of death has not officially been announced, although some evidence points to a possible overdose of prescription painkillers.

Simmons also recalled the first time he met Prince, when he and his then-girlfriend Diana Ross went to a club show early in the entertainer's career.

"We'd never seen anything like that," Simmons maintained. "Backstage when we came up to say 'you were great,' we were expecting this huge personality and he was a very small, slight human being. He [was] very shy, with his eyes to the ground, very self-effacing. He just couldn't take a compliment…He spoke in a whisper. It was shocking actually."

Simmons also drew a lot of media attention recently when he declared that he didn't think rap group N.W.A. belonged in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame because he doesn't consider them a rock act. His comments also started a war of words between some of N.W.A.'s members and him.

Gene doubled down on his previous remarks in the Newsweek interview. "N.W.A. is a legendary hip-hop act, perhaps the preeminent one -- but it ain't rock," he said. "The day N.W.A. goes into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I want KISS in the hip-hop hall of fame."

He added, "You can walk up to [Dr.] Dre and say: 'What kind of band are you?' He's not going to say: 'We're a rock band.' If you ask us what band we are, I'm not going to say hip-hop."

In the interview, Simmons also talked more about his opinion of hip-hop, as well as sharing his feelings about the state of rock and pop music, his thoughts about President Obama and Donald Trump, and more. Check out the full article at Newsweek.com.

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