In an interview with Newsweek, Simmons said of Prince: “His drugs killed him. What do you think, he died from a cold? 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.”
And now, the controversial rocker is apologizing. Simmons tweeted that he regrets his words.
“I just got such s— from my family for my big mouth again,” Simmons tweeted. “I apologize – I have a long history of getting very angry at what drugs do to the families/friends of the addicts. I get angry at drug users because of my experience being around them coming up in the rock scene. In my experience they’ve made my life, and the lives of their loved ones, difficult.
“I was raised in a culture/crowd where drug addicts were written off as losers, and since that’s the narrative I grew up with, it’s been hard to change with the times.”
It should be noted that in Simmons’ original commentary on Prince, he also mentioned David Bowie, whose death he considers “tragic” because he died of “a real sickness.” Bowie died of liver cancer in January, but the legendary rocker was a well-known cocaine addict in the 1970s. Prince reportedly had painkillers in his system when he died, but was never known as a drug abuser or alcoholic.
— Gene Simmons (@genesimmons) May 11, 2016