Gene Simmons on Prince's death: 'How pathetic that he killed himself'

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What Does Gene Simmons Think Of Prince's Death?

Gene Simmons is not known for biting his tongue. The Kiss frontman's latest incendiary remarks are pointed at the late music icon Prince, whose death Simmons recently described as "pathetic."

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Despite praising Prince as possibly the greatest musician of all time, in an interview with Newsweek Simmons blamed His Purpleness for killing himself with drugs and alcohol. (Prescription painkillers are being investigated as leading to Prince's death and the powerful painkiller Percocet was reportedly present in the 57-year-old artist's body when he was found dead in an elevator at his Paisley Park compound on April 21.)

"His drugs killed him. What do you think, he died from a cold?" he said. "I think Prince was heads, hands and feet above all the rest of them. I thought he left [Michael] Jackson in the dust. Prince was way beyond that. But how pathetic that he killed himself. Don't kid yourself, that's what he did. Slowly, I'll grant you... but that's what drugs and alcohol is: a slow death."

PHOTOS: Gene Simmons through the years

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Vintage photos of Gene Simmons in KISS
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Gene Simmons on Prince's death: 'How pathetic that he killed himself'
UNSPECIFIED - JANUARY 01: Photo of Simmons Gene (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED - JANUARY 01: Photo of Simmons Gene (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
Kiss 1976 Gene Simmons (Photo by Chris Walter/WireImage)
IN CONCERT - Airdate: March 29, 1974. (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) GENE SIMMONS OF KISS
FEBRUARY 18: (L-R) Paul Stanley, Peter Criss, Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of the rock and roll band Kiss pose for a portrait for the cover of their self-entitled first album 'Kiss' which was released on February 18, 1974. (Photo by Ginny Winn/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
LONG BEACH, CA - MAY 31: Bassist Gene Simmons of the rock and roll band Kiss performs onstage at the Civic Auditorium on May 31, 1974 in Long Beach, California. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - MAY 31: (L-R) Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons of the rock and roll band 'Kiss' pose for a portrait session backstage on May 31, 1974 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Richard Creamer/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JANUARY 01: Photo of Gene SIMMONS and KISS and Peter CRISS and Paul STANLEY and Ace FREHLEY; L-R: Ace Frehley, Peter Criss, Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons - posed, group shot (Photo by Steve Morley/Redferns)
Left to right: bassist Gene Simmons, guitarist Paul Stanley and drummer Peter Criss, of American heavy metal group Kiss, backstage, circa 1975. (Photo by Fin Costello/Redferns/Getty Images)
Gene Simmons, Peter Criss and Ace Frehley of Kiss in San Francisco 1979 in San Francisco, California (Photo by Steve Jennings/WireImage)
DETROIT, USA - 16th MAY: Bassist Gene Simmons from rock group Kiss performs live on stage at Cobo Hall in Detroit during the concert recording of Alive! on 16th May 1975. (Photo by Fin Costello/Redferns)
Bassist Gene Simmons, of American rock group Kiss, in Detroit, Michigan, May 1975. (Photo by Fin Costello/Redferns/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - FEBRUARY 1976: Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley, Paul Stanley and Peter Criss of the rock and roll band 'Kiss' joke around with fans and cause mayhem at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in February 1976 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 01: RICHFIELD COLISEUM Photo of Gene SIMMONS and KISS, Gene Simmons performing live onstage (Photo by Fin Costello/Redferns)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 10: American rock group Kiss, sporting their face paint and costumes, visit London at the start of their first European tour on May 10, 1976 in London, England. The group are lead singer Gene Simmons, guitarist Ace Frehley, drummer Peter Criss and guitarist Paul Stanley. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - FEBRUARY 1976: Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley, Paul Stanley and Peter Criss of the rock and roll band 'Kiss' joke around with fans and cause mayhem at Grauman's Chinese Theatre with radio DJ Rodney Bingenheimer in February 1976 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
Bassist Gene Simmons (left) and guitarist Ace Frehley performing with American rock group Kiss at Hammersmith Odeon in London, 16th May 1976. (Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images)
AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - 23rd MAY:(Clockwise from top left) Peter Criss, Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley and Paul Stanley of Kiss pose for a studio group portrait at the RAI Congrescentrum on 23rd May 1976 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by Gijsbert Hanekroot/Redferns)
CIRCA 1977: (L-R) Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley and Ace Frehley of the rock and roll band Kiss performs onstage in circa 1977. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - CIRCA 1977: Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley and Ace Frehley of the rock and roll band 'Kiss' performing onstage in circa 1977. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - CIRCA 1977: Pop singer Elton John poses for a portrait with the rock band 'Kiss' in full regalia in circa 1977 in Los Angeles, California. (L-R) Ace Frehley, Peter Criss, Elton John, Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley. (Photo by Michael Montfort/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - CIRCA 1977: Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley and Paul Stanley of the rock and roll band 'Kiss' perform onstage in circa 1977 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - JULY 24: Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss (on drums) of the rock and roll band 'Kiss' perform onstage on July 24, 1979 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Richard Creamer/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
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In the wake of recent deaths shaking the music world, Simmons said David Bowie's passing "was the most tragic of all because it was real sickness... All the other ones were a choice."

Simmons himself claimed to have never been "high or drunk in my life," with the exception of a "dentist's chair where they knock you out." He added, "I can almost understand drinking or getting high if it made my schmeckel bigger, or made me smarter, but nothing happens."

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