Amanda Edwards/WireImage
Mahita Gajanan
May 10, 2016 AT 07:57 PM EDT

Gene Simmons has weighed in on the recent deaths of musicians Prince and David Bowie in a new interview with Newsweek. According to the 66-year-old Kiss frontman, Prince’s death was “pathetic.”

“Bowie was the most tragic of all because it was real sickness,” Simmons said. “All the other ones were a choice.”

Prince died on April 21 at the age of 57 in his Chanhassen, Minnesota estate. The cause of his death has yet to be determined, and is being investigated as a possible drug overdose, a law enforcment official told The Associated Press.

“I think Prince was heads, hands and feet above all the rest of them,” Simmons continued. “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.”

Simmons also said he has “never been high or drunk” in his life and questioned the “insane gene” in people that makes them succumb to “the cliché of the clichés: drugs and alcohol.”

Paul Stanley, Kiss’s co-lead singer, apologized Tuesday for Simmons’s comments, calling them “embarrassing,” “cold,” and “clueless.”

Simmons is not one to shy away from controversial statements. Earlier this year, Simmons sparked ire by telling Rolling Stone, “I am looking forward to the death of rap,” and subsequently feuding on Twitter with Ice Cube over the matter.

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