I don’t believe Gene Simmons was trying to disrespect Prince, but it came across like that to many people. He acknowledged the late artist’s accomplishments and talent when comparing it to another artist who recently passed away, but he also caused controversy.
Gene has always been against alcohol and drug use, and has strong opinions of course. It may have been blunt, but so many people have died by drugs in music unnecessarily over the years. We don’t know the full results of the autopsy yet; I’m not sure if Prince had a lethal overdose or not. It’s a sensitive subject.
There’s no easy way to say how lethal alcohol and drug use is.
“Bowie was the most tragic of all because it was real sickness,” Simmons tells Newsweek. “All the other ones were a choice.” Even Prince? “His drugs killed him. What do you think, he died from a cold?” (Prince’s body was found with prescription painkillers in his possession; however, his longtime lawyer denied he was “drugged up,” calling allegations of addiction “foolish.”)
He continues: “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.”
So in reality, Simmons didn’t call Prince pathetic; he said his death by drugs was pathetic. The media just tries to stir up trouble and bad feelings by insinuating that Simmons thinks Prince was pathetic. They know that most people won’t bother reading the article before commenting on it, so they fan the fire of controversy. Simmons was quite positive about Prince and his entertainment abilities. He just thinks that drugs and alcohol take the lives of too many volunteers. I agree. Any sane person would.
Gene has always been his own man and never minced words. Like it or not, as with the N.W.A.’s induction into the Rock and Roll “Hall of Fame”, he is completely on point and correct here. Anybody that is familiar with Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons knows they both abhor drugs and finally cut ties with Peter Criss and Ace Frehley for that very reason.
Perhaps what he said about Prince isn’t politically correct, but that has never been Gene’s way. I do not disagree with a word he says here if indeed it was drugs, prescription or not, that did Prince in.
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