Gene Simmons may be known by most people as the legendary bassist and co-lead singer of Kiss, but his heritage and cultural background are also very important to him. He was born in Haifa, Israel, in 1949, and lived there until he was three years old before moving to New York City with his mother, Flora Klein. A few years later, in 1953, his father immigrated to the United States as well. Gene Simmons Israeli-American Musician and Songwriter Played The Demon
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Born Chaim Witz on August 25, 1949
American musician, singer and songwriter Gene Simmons is best known by his stage persona The Demon or Devil Horns. He started his music career in 1967 with a band called Wicked Lester. In 1973 he formed Kiss along with Paul Stanley and they played as a duo until they recruited Peter Criss and Ace Frehley. This became one of the most famous bands of all time with over 20 gold albums to their name in addition to selling more than 100 million records worldwide. Gene Simmons Israeli-American Musician and Songwriter Played The Demon
After immigrating to Israel at age 8
In his early years in Israel, Gene attended Hebrew school at Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills. He played percussion with an orchestra and conducted its choir at one time. He graduated from Sde Gabriel High School in Tiberias. After high school, he studied for a year at a yeshiva before enlisting in Israel’s military intelligence service where he learned to speak Hebrew fluently. After completing his army service, he returned to Los Angeles to live with relatives because his father was living there.
Schooled in America
Gene Simmons is more than a rock ‘n’ roll icon. He’s also a successful businessman. After immigrating to Israel from New York City at age eight, he was drafted into service in 1967 during what would become known as Israel’s Six Day War. He completed his military duty and began studying acting before returning to music with Kiss in 1973.
First love was music
Gene Simmons has had quite a life. Born Chaim Witz in Haifa, Israel on August 25th, 1949 to Jewish parents who survived the Holocaust during World War II. In order to leave their impoverished upbringing behind them, he and his mother immigrated to New York City when he was eight years old. Little did they know that Gene would become an American icon as a rock legend.
A walking natural disaster
As an active member of his community, Gene has donated to numerous charitable causes including Music for Relief which helps various victims of natural disasters. He’s also appeared as a guest co-host on Live with Regis and Kelly. In 2005 he recorded a video public service announcement (PSA) urging parents to protect their children from Internet pornography. Additionally in 2006, Kiss were nominated for induction into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame but did not win.
- Born: 25 August 1949 (age 72 years), Rambam Health Care Campus, Haifa, Israel
- Height: 1.88 m
- Spouse: Shannon Tweed (m. 2011)
- Children: Sophie Simmons, Nick Simmons
- Music groups: Kiss (Since 1973), Wicked Lester (1971 – 1973), Kings of Chaos
- Parents: Flóra Klein, Feri Witz
Falling In Love With Rock Music and Becoming A Fanatic
At 15 years old, Gene became a fan of rock music. Before Kiss was formed in early 1972, he had performed as lead singer for a San Fernando Valley band called Bullfrog Bheer.
Early Musical Influences – Elvis Presley’s Heartbreak Hotel And Buddy Holly’s That’ll Be The Day
Simmons says he was influenced by Elvis Presley’s style as well as by country artists such as Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn. He can’t remember how old he was when he first saw Presley perform on television. I must have been really young, he says, but I still knew there was something different about him.
Road To Success – Kiss And Business Ventures
Kiss was formed in New York City on January 22, 1973. Gene Simmons was born Chaim Witz on August 25, 1949 in Haifa, Israel to Jewish parents who were holocaust survivors. His mother a Hungarian Holocaust survivor named Flóra Florence Klein (née Klein), whom escaped to Switzerland after spending time in a labor camp. While his father Ferencz Frank Witz (1915–2008) was serving with British military during World War II.
Robert Berry – Band Co-Founder/Song Writer
He’s not just a singer and songwriter who happens to be from Israel. He’s an Israeli who happens to be a singer and songwriter. (Simmons started performing in school plays at age five.)
Life Changing Events and Albums that Changed Everything Forever
Gene Simmons, American musician and songwriter for rock band Kiss says that Life Changing events are albums that changed everything forever in his life. The rocker has released some of most iconic music that is still played on radio today.
Q & A
What inspired you to become a musician? How did you get your start? I was a music maniac from as early as I can remember. My mother would bring me home records from work—I don’t know if it was an attempt to get me to calm down or just something she liked herself—and I played them over and over until my father bought me a guitar at 8 years old. Soon after that, our family moved to New York City when my father got a job there.
Is Gene Simmons a billionaire?
Gene Simmons, an American musician known by his stage persona The Demon, played bass guitar for a professional heavy metal band called Kiss. After auditioning unsuccessfully in 1973 to become lead guitarist for Black Sabbath, he joined Kiss along with two other hopeful members who had also auditioned: singer Paul Stanley and drummer Peter Criss. In 1974, their second album hit No. 9 on the Billboard Top 200 chart—and as of January 2019 it’s sold more than 30 million copies worldwide.
What religion is Gene Simmons?
Gene Simmons is a Jewish religious figure. Judaism is an ancient monotheistic religion that was first established by Abraham around 2000 BC in Mesopotamia (in what is now Iraq). Orthodox Jews refer to themselves as Israelites. With over 14 million adherents worldwide today, it is one of the most widely practiced religions in all of human history. While Judaism doesn’t have a centralized governing body, many sects or denominations exist within it.
Is Gene Simmons the one with the tongue?
Gene Simmons, Israeli-American musician and songwriter played with Kiss as a bassist. His stage persona was The Demon. In 1978 he became an American citizen at ceremonies in New York City. He is also known for his reality television series Family Jewels. He has been married to former Playboy Playmate Shannon Tweed since December 31, 1983.
Are Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley friends?
Yes. KISS bandmates Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley are both Jewish. In fact, according to genealogy records cited by Business Insider, both of their fathers were born in Israel (Simmons’ father immigrated to New York City as a young man; Stanley’s father was born in London but later settled in Tel Aviv). Gene is Israeli -born through his father who moved from Israel to NY as a young man.