Did Gene Simmons Really Insure His Famous Tongue for $1 Million?
Kiss is iconic in the history of rock music. The band helped solidified the genre’s rise by packing major arenas with the help of their signature theatrics. Their over-the-top stage show earned them millions of fans worldwide and an uncontestable spot as rock legends. For many fans, it’s tough to separate the idea of Kiss from frontman and co-founder Gene Simmons.
The star’s high-energy performances definitely propelled Kiss to super stardom, but he’s become iconic in his own right, particularly over his many (and often bragged about) sexual exploits and his extraordinary tongue. The image of the star’s unbelievably long tongue is inextricably tied to Simmons for many.
How long is Gene Simmons’ tongue?
Simmons (born Chaim Witz) is arguably the most recognizable member of Kiss after performing with them since their inception in 1972. Kiss’ stage shows go over the top, building on the spectacle that created so much sensation for performers of the time, like David Bowie.
Between the makeup, flaming guitars, pyrotechnics and spitting blood, for many fans the most iconic part of Kiss’ stage shows were Simmons’ tongue which was perpetually dangling out of his mouth or lapping up the enthusiasm of the crowd. According to Jack 96.9, Simmons’ tongue measures at a full 7″ and despite popular belief, is totally natural Simmons.
Fans have discussed many absurd theories about surgical enhancement for the star’s famous tongue over the years. Some fans have even claimed that Simmons had a cow tongue grafted onto his own to create his signature look. According to Snopes, the star regards this has his favorite rumor surrounding his mystique.
The famous fact-checking site debunked the ridiculous rumor, citing comments from Simmons’ autobiography and remarking “Even if the state of medical technology back in the 1970s allowed for human-bovine melding, anyone who has checked out a cow’s tongue at a deli or grocery store meat counter knows how huge one of those things is.”
Did Simmons really insure his tongue for $1 million?
With an image and reputation like Simmons’, his tongue is a huge asset to his fame and influence. For many people, it’s near impossible to separate thoughts of the star’s unbelievably long tongue when he comes to mind. Simmons’ tongue is so essential to his brand that he even named his lifestyle magazine Tongue as an homage to the prominent feature. Understandably, Simmons has taken steps to protect this essential asset.
The star insured his famous tongue for $1 million according to gossipcop.com. Since his tongue often seems like a 5th member of the band, some extra risk protection on a feature so closely tied to his brand is probably not as outrageous an idea as it seems.
Celebrities insuring body parts is nothing new, and high dollar insurance companies are eager to get into an investment in part of the rich and famous. Firms like Lloyds of London regularly provide peace of mind to celebrities by offering plans on body parts, at least mitigating risk that a famous limb, face, or in this case, tongue suffers an injury that will drastically affect the star’s ability to earn.
Where is Gene Simmons now?
Simmons is still very active and staying busy, even if he’s not the young man breaking conventions and wowing audiences on tour continuously. He has toured with reformed versions and the original lineup of Kiss several times over the years, but has also been working on publishing, acting, and fashion design projects according to Biography.com
Simmons is married to former Playboy playmate Shannon Tweed, and the couple have 2 children. From 2006 to 2012 the couple featured in a reality show on A&E, Gene Simmons Family Jewels. Simmons is disciplined in his professional life, famously having never drank alcohol, done drugs, or smoked contrary to his rock star image.
Despite the considerable return from Kiss merchandising that Simmons and band mate Paul Stanley still receive, Simmons is constantly pursuing other investment and professional opportunities and currently has a net worth of $400 million according to CelebrityNetWorth.com, and it doesn’t sound like he’s done with the rat race yet.
In 2015 the star told the BBC in an interview, “Life is business, and I approach life the way sharks approach life — they must keep moving or else they will drown… I’ll never stop hunting more money, I’ll never have enough.” While Simmons may not be a young man licking his bass and spitting fire on stage anymore, his drive and ambition definitely seems like just the man who commanded armies of adoring fans from the arena stage all those years ago.