KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons has apologized for the comments he made about Prince's death.
Simmons made headlines earlier today when he told Newsweek about Prince's passing: "His drugs killed him. What do you think, he died from a cold?"
Simmons added that he still holds Prince in high regard as a musician. "I think Prince was heads, hands and feet above all the rest of them," he said. "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."
After Gene's comments were picked up by various news organizations, the rocker issued a statement in which he explained that his "big mouth" led him to not "express [himself] properly,” and that it came from seeing too many people in the music industry throw away their talents by abusing drugs.
Simmons's statement in its entirety:
"I just got such shit from my family for my big mouth again. I apologize - I have a long history of getting very angry at what drugs do to the families/friends of the addicts. I get angry at drug users because of my experience being around them coming up in the rock scene. In my experience they've made my life, and the lives of their loved ones, difficult. I was raised in a culture/crowd where drug addicts were written off as losers, and since that's the narrative I grew up with, it's been hard to change with the times. Needless to say, I didn't express myself properly here - I don't shy away from controversy, and angry critics really don't bother me at all. If I think I'm right, I'll throw up a finger and dig my heels in and laugh. But this time, I was not. So, my apologies.
"PS: What I will say is that there is part of this that is journalists quote-mining things lve said in the past and applying it to new situations. This, too, happens often, and not just to me. So, quote mining, too, is wrong. It doesn't make my past quotes any more tactful, but still - be wary of click bait. The uglier they can make it seem, the more views they will get."
Initial toxicology tests showed the painkiller Percocet was present in Prince's body at his time of death, but autopsy and toxicology results aren't complete, and the artist's cause of death remains unknown.