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Gene Simmons Says Kurt Cobain Not a Rock Icon

Gene Simmons
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

Late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain does not deserve his status as a rock “icon,” according to Kiss bass player Gene Simmons. In a new interview with Team Rock Radio, Simmons proclaimed that virtually no superstar rock artists have emerged on the scene for nearly three decades.

He explained, “Now from 1984 until today which is over thirty years I think, name one superstar that’s bigger than their music, and not just somebody that’s recorded one or two records, but another Queen or another AC/DC? Just name one.” He added, “Kurt Cobain — no, that’s one or two records, that’s not enough. Amy Winehouse — that’s one or two records, that’s not enough. What, just because you died that makes you an icon? No, no. There aren’t any.”

Simmons said in the same interview, “There won’t be another Beatles or another Prince or another Kiss because there isn’t that support system. There are no record companies because kids have decided they can download and file share and bypass paying the artists what they rightfully should be getting.”

Simmons issued a challenge to name 100 iconic superstars from the years between 1958 and 1983 before listing some on his own: “Let me see — Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, The Who. And through the ’70s — Aerosmith, Kiss, Led Zeppelin, on and on.”

So what’s your opinion? Does Kurt Cobain belong in the same conversation with the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix and KISS or does Simmons have a point?

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