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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."

CHECK IT OUT: Who are music's next Kurt Cobains?


  • Do you agree or disagree with Gene Simmons? Why or why not?
  • Is someone disqualified from "rock icon" status just because they didn't put out a lot of records? Is it about quantity or quality?
  • Do you think Cobain would be considered a rock legend today if he was still alive?

INTERNET COMMENTS at Diffuser and Loudwire -- agree or not?

Gavin Brown wrote: "10 albums doesn't mean you're good, it just means you sell. Cobain was a great songwriter and influenced the music of an entire generation. Riding the wave of a success 20 years ago, still playing the same old content and turning it into a reality show doesn't make an icon, it makes a sellout."

Tim Palmer wrote: "Cobain is not a great songwriter and he did not influence the music of a entire generation -- not to any degree that means anything. He was basically a punk and died a depressed punk."

Tom G York Jr wrote: "A body of work makes an icon or a super star, not a one or two off record. All he really is an icon for tragedy, and drug abuse. A model of what not to do."

Bill Goodman wrote: "Dear Gene, Kurt would still be an icon today if he were alive. He'd still be making good and interesting music unlike you."

Bess Bee wrote: "Kurt is and will always be an icon. He was a very talented musician who unfortunately lost is battle. Had he not taken his life, I am sure he wouldn't be airing his family's dirty laundry on TV just to make a quick buck."

Bobby Keene wrote: "Sex Pistols put out only one album and I consider them icons. Hell Hendrix only put out three studio albums.Its about quality not quantity."

Christopher Hosfelt wrote: "Just ONE Nirvana album is better than the entire KISS catalog. Old people make me laugh."

Read more at LoudwireDiffuser and NME

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