Legendary rocker Gene Simmons of the United States is worth an estimated $400 million. He is well-known for his role in the formation of the band Kiss, which enjoyed massive success from the late 1970s through the 1990s and has, as of this writing, sold over 100 million records around the world.
Despite extensive discography and successful concert tours, Gene now relies primarily on royalties from Kiss albums and other merchandise. In excess of five thousand unique items, including pinball machines, lunch boxes, condoms, board games, lighters, comic novels, and even coffins, have been licensed to feature Kiss-related logos, iconography, and other intellectual property. Since the 1970s, licensing fees for this brand have totaled over $1 billion.
Currently, Gene and his current business partner, Paul Stanley, own Kiss jointly. All the other people are actors. Gene has stated that between tours, merchandise sales, and licensing agreements, Kiss earns over $100 million annually.
Gene Simmons’ real name is Chaim Witz, and he was born in Haifa, Israel on August 25th, 1949. Carpenter Ferenc Yehiel Witz and Florence Klein had him. During the Holocaust, only his mother and her brother, Gene’s uncle Larry Klein, made it out of a Nazi concentration camp alive. At the age of eight, Gene and his mother emigrated to Jackson Heights, Queens, New York City from Israel.
After relocating to the United States, Chaim Witz changed his name to Eugene Klein. After seeing The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan program, he developed a deep appreciation for music. His mother bought him a used guitar to encourage his newfound passion for music.
Gene honed his guitar skills to a high level but ultimately decided to switch to bass because he thought it would help him join a band more quickly. Eugene formed his first band, Lynx, in high school; they changed their name to Missing Links. After Simmons’s stint with the Missing Links, he signed up with the Long Island Sounds.
After a short time in the classroom at Sullivan County Community College, Gene transferred to Richmond College and graduated with a degree in education. Following graduation, Simmons worked as an assistant to the editor of Vogue and Glamour magazines and as a grade school teacher in Spanish Harlem.
During this time, he decided to go by the moniker Gene Simmons in homage to the legendary rockabilly star Jumpin’ Gene Simmons. Simmons has recently joined a new band called Bullfrog Bheer and they have released a demo called Leeta. (It ended up on a Kiss compilation album.)
He met Stanley Eisen while using the alias “Gene Simmons” (A.K.A Paul Stanley). The pair eventually joined together to form the band, Wicked Lester. Their hard work paid off fast, as Epic Records offered them a recording contract after only seven performances. They put out an album but it was ignored by Epic, leading to their demise. Despite its potential, it was never made public.
After this setback, Simmons and Paul decided to form “The band that will control the world.” After noticing Peter Criss’s ad in Rolling Stone, they asked him to join the band. Paul Frehley, their guitar player, would shortly be joining them (aka Ace Frehley). Everything was now ready for “Kiss” to conquer the globe. They finally performed for the first time after five months of practice.
They tried several new looks for their makeup right before the show. Rather than risk looking overly feminine, they decided to experiment with makeup as an artistic medium. They imagined that they could utilize makeup to communicate something about themselves. The kiss was able to rapidly amass a devoted following. In February of 1974, they dropped their debut album, which bore their name.
With Gene Simmons at the helm, they were able to stock a wide variety of products. Despite their dedicated fan base, their first three albums received mixed to negative reviews. It was common knowledge that Kiss put up a fantastic concert. Live concert recordings of Kiss were planned. The band’s popularity skyrocketed after the publication of their live CD, which went quadruple platinum.
Even though the band had been together for five very fruitful years, its members eventually started to feel trapped in their own company. That’s when they went their separate ways to make solo records. Critics pounced on the band’s return and attacked them. There was a point at which Kiss’s make-up and Gene’s blood-spitting antics were too much for their followers.
They stopped using makeup onstage in 1983. As a result, they gained even more attention and fame. In the 1980s, Gene had a sense of wanting to expand his horizons. As early as 1984, he was already starting his own record label and accepting acting roles in Hollywood (Simmons Recording). In 1992, Kiss would drop their album Revenge.
View this post on Instagram
It’s safe to assume that this album will have a considerably more gloomy and gritty vibe than their previous efforts. Due to the success of the album, Kiss found itself once again in the spotlight. Since 1992, Kiss has performed on and off, including an appearance on MTV’s Unplugged in 1995. As early as 1995, the band was holding conventions for their devoted following.
Kiss’ 1996–1997 Alive Worldwide Reunion tour was one of the most successful concert tours of all time. Psycho Circus, the band’s second album, was released in 1998. Since then, original members Tommy Thayer (guitar) and Eric Singer (drums) have left the band, and the band as a whole has once again disintegrated.
Simmons co-produced the Kiss ode film “Detroit Rock City” in 1999. Simmons has not only joined the reality television sector with his shows Rock School and Gene Simmons Family Jewels, but he has also previously conquered the world of music with Kiss.
Quote About Money and Wealth
Gene provided a pithy summary of his views on monetary matters during a BBC interview in February of this year.
“Life is a business and I approach life the way a shark approaches life – they must keep moving or else they will drown. I’ll never stop hunting more money. I’ll never have enough…. I live to make more money. People who say that money is the root of all evil are morons. A lack of money is the root of all evil.”
Simmons’s past partnerships included long-term cohabitation with Cher and Diana Ross. After dating for 28 years, he finally tied the knot with his longtime girlfriend Shannon Tweed, a former Playboy starlet. They have been together for a while and have settled down in Beverly Hills, California, with their two children, Nick (born in 1989) and Sophie (born in 1992).
Simmons reads a lot of comic books and enjoys science fiction. He’s put out his own science fiction fanzines and written for others.
Simmons was a strong advocate for George W. Bush’s foreign policy, and he backed the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Simmons expressed his remorse at having voted for Barack Obama in 2010 and criticized the president’s 2009 health care legislation. The following year, he supported Mitt Romney for president.
Simmons supports ChildFund International while discussing charitable giving. He has more than 1400 sponsored children, so he decided to take a trip to Zambia to see them. Because of his and his family’s dedication to Mending Kids International, they were honored with the MEND Humanitarian Award. Simmons co-founded The Children Matter, a movement that campaigns for improved medical care for kids all across the world.
Gene’s principal house since 1986 has been a Beverly Hills mansion measuring 16,500 square feet and situated on nearly two acres of the world’s most expensive real estate. After accounting for inflation, Gene paid $3.1 million for the property he purchased in 1984 for $1,327,500.
The current house, which features prominently in the family’s reality program and boasts 10 bedrooms and 16,500 square feet, was built over the course of five years at an estimated cost of $12 million.
Gene and Shannon put their $22 million mansion on the market in October 2020. They took the $16 million in September of 2021. In the meantime, here’s a video tour from when it was initially on the market:
Gene and Shannon hoped to sell their home and move permanently to a 24-acre estate in the Whistler area of British Columbia. They dropped a cool $4 million on this lot to construct Shannon’s ideal home.
Gene and Shannon spent $5.8 million in March 2021 to purchase a mansion on a Malibu hilltop. Additionally, they spent $10.5 million on a smaller Beverly Hills property a few months later.
They purchased a mansion in Henderson, Nevada, for $8.2 million in May of 2021. It was 11,000 square feet. After a short time, he spent another $2 million to buy the vacant land next door and turn it into an orchard with more than 130 trees of different varieties. They did not spend much time there, and thus in October 2021, Gene and Shannon put the mansion up for sale for little under $15 million.