Most of us are familiar with the rock and roll idol from the world famous band Kiss. Gene Simmons was a heck of a performer on the stage and he’s led an interesting life. He’s amassed a tremendous fortune throughout his life and career and he’s worth an estimated $300 million. How did he become so wealthy? Was it from his rock and roll days? We’ve done a little digging and this is what we found out about the rock icon.
Gene is an American performer, but he wasn’t born in the United States. He was born in Haifa, Israel in 1949. His birth name isn’t Gene Simmons either. His mother named him Chaim Witz. When Gene was just 8 years old, his mother made the decision to move to the United States. They settled in New York City and she felt that he needed to have a name that sounded more American, so she changed it to Eugene Klein. This is probably not a name that many of his fans are familiar with either. The next time his name changed it would be his choice.
His first band
Gene Simmons formed his first band when he was in high school. He didn’t forsake his education for the music though. He continued on to earn his degree and became a grade school teacher. He also served as an editorial assistant for Glamour and Vogue magazines and it was during this era that he changed his name legally to Gene Simmons.
Where Gene earned his fortune
Gene was not a rich man when he worked as a school teacher and as an assistant editor. He would not know wealth until after he became a well-known musician and performer with Kiss, the hard rock band that rose to unbelievable heights of fame. The band came together in the early ’70s. They put on some of the most brilliant pyrotechnic shows that the world had ever seen. Their most novel features were in the elaborate makeup that they donned prior to performing. This hid the identities of the band members who appeared in equally elaborate and flashy costumes. Simmons was the member of the group who became well-known for his long tongue and his demon face.
The band continued on with an amazing five years of success and fame before they began to lose their popularity with fans to newcomers on the scene. In 1983, the group appeared together on stage but left the face makeup in the dressing room. They enjoyed a brief period of revived popularity but they didn’t make a big comeback after their initial run of good fortune.
Simmons as a producer
Gene Simmons made a film in 1999, that detailed the lives and careers of the band. The film was titled “Detroit Rock City.” Gene went on to create a reality television show, similar to what some others have done such as Ozzy Osborne. The series ran through the mid-2000 era. Gene stared alongside his wife, daughter, and son in the series that was called “Gene Simmons: Family Jewels.” Although Kiss didn’t regain their former glory, the band members have remained immensely popular as celebrity personalities.
Gene’s current activity
Gene still maintains a hectic schedule. In 2017, he made a series of live appearances. He’s a favorite at ComicCon gatherings and he’s still fond of performing for fans. Simmons is kept busy with speaking engagements and he travels around Canada and the United States to give talks to future business leaders.
He’s an award-winning celebrity who was nominated for a People’s Choice Award for his reality TV series which ended in 2012 after a 6-year run. When he was with the band Kiss, together the bandmates received multiple accolades including setting a record for a band that had the most gold records. The group sold more than a hundred million albums throughout the world.
He’s lived an interesting life so far, but Gene Simmons is far from through. With a fortune at his disposal, he could do anything that he wants. He chooses to travel and to share his wisdom with others. He’s truly a phenomenal human being. Life has been good to him in many respects and he’s doing his part to give a little back to the rest of the world.