Gene Simmons Apologizes for Prince Comments: I Got Such ‘S–t’ From My Family

Gene Simmons
 Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Is it too late to say that he's sorry? Kiss rocker Gene Simmons apologized on Tuesday, May 10, after making several controversial comments about Prince and his death in a new interview. 

The outspoken artist, 66, penned an extended apology via Twitter, and shared that his reaction didn't just outrage legions of Prince fans — but also his own family members. 

"I just got such s–t from my family for my big mouth again," Simmons wrote. "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."

In his Newsweek interview, Simmons said he thought that it was "pathetic that [Prince] killed himself." The Kiss frontman, who claims he's never been drunk or high in his nearly seven decades of life, added: "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."

By Simmons' own admission, he didn't convey his sentiments in the most sensitive manner. "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," he tweeted. "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."

Prince died at age 57 on April 21. His autopsy was completed on April 22, but the results are still pending. Officials are currently investigating the possible involvement of painkillers, which were used to treat chronic pain in his hip. 

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