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Kiss’ Gene Simmons isn’t afraid to share his opinions on artists from other generations. For example, he said Lady Gaga and Amy Winehouse could have been rock stars even if he isn’t a fan of everything Gaga has done. In the same vein, he said Selena Gomez couldn’t have been a rock star if she tried.

Gene Simmons of Kiss with a guitar
Kiss’ Gene Simmons | Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images for Race To Erase MS

Kiss’ Gene Simmons doesn’t like disco songs but he likes Lady Gaga

During a 2021 interview with Us Weekly, Simmons revealed he respects Gaga even if he isn’t the biggest fan of dance music. “The new artists have that thing. When she first started, I said ‘Gaga is the next rock star.’ I’m not a fan of the disco boys on the poles and the sort of disco stuff of it.”

Simmons praised Gaga’s projects outside of the world of dance music. “She’s got the depth to sing with Tony Bennett which she did a chanteuse,” he said. “She’s got the depth. Listen to her sing ‘Shallow.’ She also did Edith Piaf, the classic French actress. I want to see Gaga with a rock band in the back of her rocking out because she’s got the goods.”

Kiss’ Gene Simmons said Amy Winehouse had ‘goods’ that Selena Gomez doesn’t have

Simmons continued to say Gaga and Winehouse could have been rock stars but Gomez didn’t have the same capability. “I love all the Selena Gomezes and all that kind of stuff. [She] wouldn’t be able to hold up a rock band,” he opined. “Gaga’s got the goods and her versatility, you know who else had, Amy Winehouse.”

Simmons praised Winehouse’s versatility. “Undeniable,” he said. “Blues, rock, singing with Tony Bennett, she did all of them. She just takes your breath away with those deep lyrics and all melodies. I can’t sing for s***, but you’re talking about those two voices.”


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The way listeners in the United States reacted to Lady Gaga and Amy Winehouse

Simmons praised Gaga’s song “Shallow,” which became a huge hit. It became one of Gaga’s five No. 1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, alongside “Just Dance,” “Poker Face,” “Born This Way,” and “Rain on Me.” Gaga became similarly successful on the Billboard 200. Six of her albums topped that chart: Born This Way, Artpop, Cheek to Cheek, Joanne, A Star Is Born, and Chromatica.

Winehouse was less prominent in the United States. Her song “Rehab” hit No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming her only top 40 hit. Meanwhile, none of Winehouse’s albums hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200. Her biggest album, Back to Black, reached No. 2. In comparing Gaga and Winehouse, it’s important to note Winehouse released fewer albums than the “Bad Romance” singer.

Regardless of who became more prominent, Simmons thinks Gaga and Winehouse could’ve been rock gods.