Gene Simmons has a net worth of $400 million as an American rock and roll legend.
He is best known for being a co-founder of the band Kiss, which was hugely popular in the late 1970s and early 1990s, selling over 100 million records worldwide as of this writing.
Despite his great record and touring numbers, Kiss’s licensing arrangements account for the majority of Gene’s riches today.
Over 5,000 distinct goods have been licensed for Kiss-related trademarks, iconography, and other intellectual property, including pinball machines, lunch boxes, condoms, board games, lighters, comic books, and even coffins.
Since the 1970s, licensing fees for the brand have totaled over $1 billion.
Kiss is now owned jointly by Gene and his Kiss bandmate Paul Stanley. The rest of the cast is professional actors. Kiss earns over $100 million each year, according to Gene, from tours, merchandise, and licensing arrangements.
Quote About Money and Wealth
Gene started his opinions on money clearly in a BBC interview in February 2019:
“Life is a business, and I approach it the same way a shark does, which is to keep moving or drown. I’m never going to stop looking for more cash.
There will never be enough for me… I exist solely for the purpose of increasing my earnings. Money is the source of all evil, according to those who believe it. All evil stems from a lack of resources.”
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Chaim Witz, better known as Gene Simmons, was born in Haifa, Israel, on August 25, 1949. Ferenc Yehiel Witz, a carpenter, and Florence Klein gave birth to him.
During the Holocaust, his mother and her brother, Gene’s uncle Larry Klein, were the only members of his family who survived imprisonment in a Nazi concentration camp.
Gene relocated to Jackson Heights, Queens in New York City with his mother when he was eight years old.
Chaim Witz changed his name to Eugene Klein after settling in the United States. After seeing The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show, he developed a strong interest in music.
His mother bought him a used guitar as a result of his increased interest in music. Gene excelled at guitar but switched to bass because he believed it would be easier to join a band.
Eugene formed Lynx, which was eventually renamed Missing Links, while still in high school. Simmons joined the Long Island Sounds after his time with the Missing Links.
Gene attended Sullivan County Community College for a short time before transferring to Richmond College to get his education degree.
Simmons taught elementary school in Spanish Harlem and even worked as a personal assistant to the editors of “Vogue” and “Glamour” magazines after earning his degree.
In honor of legendary rockabilly artist “Jumpin’ Gene Simmons,” he changed his name to Gene Simmons during this period. Simmons formed a new band called Bullfrog Beer, with whom he recorded the demo Leeta, which was eventually featured on the Kiss box set.
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He met Stanley Eisen while under the guise of Gene Simmons (A.K.A Paul Stanley). They founded the band “Wicked Lester” after deciding to collaborate. Their hard work paid off fast, as they got a record deal with Epic Records just seven gigs later.
They made an album, but Epic didn’t support it, and it went unnoticed. It never made it to the public. Following this setback, Simmons and Paul set out to become “The band that will dominate the world,” as they put it.
Following an advertisement in Rolling Stone magazine, they requested drummer Peter Criss to join them. Paul Frehley, a guitarist, will soon join them on stage (aka Ace Frehley). “Kiss” was now ready to take on the world.
They played their debut gig after five months of rehearsal. They decided to do some make-up testing before the show. Instead of using make-up as a kind of art, they chose to use it as a form of art, believing that it made them look too feminine.
They devised a plan to use make-up to express themselves as individuals. “Kiss” gained a following rapidly. In February 1974, they released their debut self-titled album. Their broad merchandise was driven by Simmons.
Even with the following base, their first three albums received mixed reviews. Kiss put up a fantastic live show, which was well-known.
It was determined that Kiss would be recorded live on stage. Because the band’s live record went quadruple platinum after its release, the band’s notoriety rose.
After five years of phenomenal success, the members of the band began to feel enslaved by one another.
They went their separate ways to record their solo albums during this period. Backlash greeted the band’s return.
Kiss’ make-up and Gene’s theatrical antics of spitting blood became tiresome to many fans. Kiss decided to ditch the make-up in 1983 and perform without it.
This helped them gain even greater fame. Gene felt compelled to tackle more of the world during the 1980s.
In 1984, he founded his own record label after accepting acting assignments from Hollywood (Simmons Recording).
In 1992, Kiss released Revenge, their fourth studio album. The record will take on a considerably darker and more gritty tone than the majority of their previous releases.
The kiss was reintroduced to the public eye after the release of this album, which was a commercial success.
Since 1992, Kiss has performed on and off, including an appearance on MTV’s Unplugged in 1995. In 1995, the group held fan conventions. Kiss’s Alive Worldwide Reunion tour, which ran from 1996 to 1997, was a huge success.
Psycho Circus was the band’s second album, released in 1998. Since then, the original lineup has disbanded once more, with Tommy Thayer taking the place of lead guitarist Ace Frehley and Eric Singer on drums taking the place of Peter Criss.
Simmons co-produced the film “Detroit Rock City,” a love letter to Kiss, in 1999. Simmons has recently joined the reality television market with his shows Rock School and Gene Simmons Family Jewels, in addition to conquering the world of music with Kiss.
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Cher and Diana Ross were two of Simmons’ former live-in girlfriends. After 28 years of dating, he married Shannon Tweed, a former Playboy playmate, in 2011. They live in Beverly Hills, California, with their two children, Nick, born in 1989, and Sophie, born in 1992.
Simmons is a comic book and science fiction fanatic. He’s written for and contributed to a number of science fiction fanzines.
Simmons backed George W. Bush’s foreign policy and spoke out in favor of the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Simmons expressed regret in 2010 for voting for Barack Obama, criticizing his 2009 health-care changes. He backed Mitt Romney for president in 2012.
Simmons supports ChildFund International when it comes to giving. He visited his sponsored children in Zambia, where he has over 1400.
For their humanitarian efforts and work with the charity Mending Kids International, he and his family got the MEND Humanitarian Award.
Simmons was a founding member of The Children Matter, an organization dedicated to providing health care to children all around the world.
Gene has lived in a 16,500-square-foot Beverly Hills mansion since 1986, which lies on roughly 2-acres of the world’s most precious real estate. Gene paid $1,327,500 for the house in 1984, which is now worth $3.1 million after inflation.
Several years later, he initiated a five-year construction effort to build the current 10-bedroom, 16,500-square-foot home, which was featured frequently on the family’s reality program and cost an estimated $12 million.
This mansion was advertised for sale for $22 million by Gene and Shannon in October 2020. They agreed to $16 million in September 2021. Here’s a tour from when it first went on the market:
Gene and Shannon wanted to sell their house so that they could move to a 24-acre estate outside Whistler, British Columbia, full-time. Shannon’s ideal home on this site cost $4 million to build.
Gene and Shannon purchased a hilltop property in Malibu in March 2021 for $5.8 million. They bought a smaller Beverly Hills mansion for $10.5 million a few months later.
They bought an 11,000-square-foot mansion in Henderson, Nevada, for $8.2 million in May 2021.
He purchased roughly $2 million for the undeveloped site next door, which he later turned into an orchard with over 130 different varieties of trees.
Gene and Shannon did not spend much time in this house and decided to sell it in October 2021 for a little under $15 million.