Skip to main content

What does Gene Simmons think of Rolling Stone’s ‘Greatest Singers of All Time’ list?

The Kiss bassist and vocalist has some opinions

Gene Simmons was recently stopped on the street by TMZ and asked to opine about Rolling Stone’s just-published “200 Greatest Singers of All Time” list, which was conspicuously lean on hard rock and metal singers.

When the interviewer pointed out that the magazine failed to recognize Simmons as a vocalist, the Kiss bassist and singer countered, “Well, that's okay. I was thinking of buying Rolling Stone."

Responding to the fact that, as the interviewer stated, BTS was ahead of Axl Rose, and Ozzy Osbourne was ranked 112, Simmons said, "Well, it's skewed. You have to consider who's popular and who's not. But if you really think about it, how good somebody sings may be part and parcel of what they do. For instance, if Jimi Hendrix, who had a long… well, actually a short career, but he was very famous, would he make it on American Idol? How about Bob Dylan? And I wrote songs with Bob Dylan. I know the guy. Would he make it on American Idol?

"How well you sing is not the most important thing. It's, ‘Do you have style’? Do you have a fingerprint that says, 'I know that voice immediately'?"

He continued, “Look, somebody sits in a back room — Jann Wenner, those guys, they sit in a back room and they decide things. Nobody asked me. Did they ask you? Apparently not."

As for where he should be on the list? "Oh, I don't give a fuck,” Simmons replied, also stating that artists in general shouldn’t care.

“If you've got success, that's enough,” he said. “Accolades and all that, you get that when you do a concert or when fans come up. That's the best thing. To be on a poll by a magazine by people in the back room? I don't know how much that means."