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History of Kiss

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Published on Jul 9, 2006

KISS is an American glam rock/hard rock band formed in New York City in 1973. The group has performed and recorded continuously since their formation. KISS has sold 63 million albums worldwide and has been awarded 22 gold albums to date, and has certified sales of 19 million records in the United States.

Easily identified by their trademark face paint (registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office) and stage costumes, KISS quickly rose to prominence on the basis of their elaborate live performances, which featured firebreathing, blood spitting, smoking guitars and pyrotechnics.

The original lineup of Gene Simmons (bass and vocals), Paul Stanley (rhythm guitar and vocals), Paul "Ace" Frehley (lead guitar and vocals) and Peter Criss (drums and vocals) became the most successful and identifiable in the band's history, and released a series of gold and platinum albums throughout the 1970s. Due to substance abuse problems and creative differences, both Criss and Frehley were out of the group by 1982. The band's commercial fortunes had also waned considerably by that point.

In 1983, KISS abandoned their makeup and enjoyed a commercial resurgence throughout the mid-to-late 1980s. They began to fall out of favor once again by the early 1990s, however. Buoyed by a wave of KISS nostalgia in the mid-1990s, the band announced a reunion of the original lineup (with makeup) in 1996. The resulting "KISS Alive Worldwide" tour was the top-grossing act of 1996.

Criss and Frehley have since left KISS, and have been replaced by Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer, respectively. The band continues to perform, while Stanley and Simmons have remained the only two constant members.

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