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Gene Simmons apologizes for calling Prince's death pathetic

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KISS frontman Gene Simmons came under fire Tuesday when he called Prince’s death “pathetic” in an interview with Newsweek. Late that night, he apologized in a note posted to Twitter.

“I just got such s— from my family for my big mouth again,” he wrote. “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.”

Police announced that a medical examiner would perform an autopsy on Prince, who died April 21 at his home in Paisley Park, but no cause of death has been identified just yet. A law enforcement official told the Associated Press that his death was being investigated as a possible drug overdose.

Simmons continued: “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.”

In the conversation with Newsweek, he had spoken about musicians’ deaths, mentioning Prince and David Bowie. “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.”

See his full apology below.

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