10/05/2013 01:27 pm ET Updated Oct 05, 2013

Gene Simmons On Kurt Cobain And Amy Winehouse: 'What, Just 'Cause You Died, That Makes You An Icon?'


Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse are often hailed as music legends whose lives were taken from us far too soon. Gene Simmons begs to differ.

The Kiss frontman says just because Cobain and Winehouse were acclaimed musicians who died young does not mean they're icons. His remarks, made during an interview with UK's Team Rock Radio, were part of a larger tirade bemoaning the state of rock music.

"Let me see -- Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, The Who and just on and on," Simmons said, listing name he feels qualify as legends. "And through the '70s, Aerosmith, Kiss, Led Zeppelin. Now from 1984 until today, 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? None, you can't name one.

"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 'cause you died, that makes you an icon? No, no."

Listen to Simmons' full interview below.