Gene Simmons called Prince’s death “pathetic,” in a recent interview, after being asked to respond to rumours that Prince died from an overdose of painkillers.
“Bowie was the most tragic of all because it was real sickness,” Simmons told Newsweek. “All the other ones were a choice. [Prince’s] drugs killed him. What do you think, he died from a cold?”
Simmons added, “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.”
Simmons also recounted seeing Prince early in the artist’s career. “He was playing a club and we’d never seen anything like that,” Simmons said. “Backstage when we came up to say ‘you were great’, we were expecting this huge personality and he was a very small, slight human being. He might have been five-foot-four, very shy, with his eyes to the ground, very self-effacing. He just couldn’t take a compliment: ‘Thank you, thank you’. He spoke in a whisper. It was shocking actually. He couldn’t look Diana Ross in the face – he kept his eyes to the ground.”