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Gene Simmons
Gene Simmons 2012.jpg
Simmons in October 2012
Background information
Birth name Chaim Witz
Also known as
  • The Demon
  • The God of Thunder
  • Dr. Love
  • Reginald Van Helsing
Born August 25, 1949 (1949-08-25) (age 71)
Tirat Carmel, Israel
Genres Hard Rock, Heavy metal
  • Musician
  • singer-songwriter
  • record producer
  • actor
  • entrepreneur
  • television personality
  • Vocals
  • bass guitar
Years active 1970–present
Associated acts

Gene Klein (born Chaim Witz (Hebrew: חיים ויץ, [xaˈim ˈvit͡s]; August 25, 1949), known professionally as Gene Simmons, is an Israeli-American musician, singer, songwriter, record producer, entrepreneur, actor, author, and television personality. Also known by his stage persona The Demon, he is the bassist and co-lead singer of Kiss, the rock band he co-founded with lead singer and rhythm guitarist Paul Stanley in the early 1970s.

Life and career

Early life

Simmons was born as Chaim Witz on August 25, 1949, at Rambam Hospital, in Haifa, Israel, to Jewish emigrants from Hungary.

At age eight, he immigrated to the United States with his mother and settled in New York City. His father remained in Israel, where he had one other son and three daughters. In the United States, Simmons changed his name to Eugene Klein (later Gene Klein), adopting his mother's maiden name.

A significant influence on Simmons was the Beatles.

Personal life

Gene Simmons - Azkena Rock Festival 2010 7
Gene Simmons fire breathing.

Simmons is a science fiction and comic book fan and published several science fiction fanzines.

Simmons lives in Los Angeles, California, with his wife, Canadian actress Shannon Lee Tweed.

Although they began dating in 1983, they did not marry until 28 years later. Simmons often joked that he and Tweed were "happily unmarried" for over 20 years.

They have two children: a son, Nick (born January 22, 1989), and a daughter, Sophie (born July 7, 1992). He formerly had live-in relationships with Cher and Diana Ross, revealing that he fell in love with Ross while dating Cher.

Simmons can speak Hungarian, German, English, Hebrew and some Japanese.

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