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Gene Simmons Thinks Madonna Doesn’t Deserve to Be in Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Gene Simmons and Madonna
Valerie Macon / Stephen Lovekin, Getty Images

Any time you hand Gene Simmons of Kiss a microphone, you can bet you’re going to hear something entertaining — and Simmons didn’t disappoint when he stepped up to the podium to discuss his band’s upcoming joint tour with Motley Crue, holding forth on a variety of topics in his typically uncensored style. On the list: Simmons’ generally disdainful view of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Knowing that Kiss has been eligible for induction since 1999, a reporter asked Simmons how he was feeling about the RRHOF these days, to which he responded that the whole thing is “a joke” and quipped, “We’ve been thinking about it and the answer is simply, ‘We’ll just buy it and fire everybody.'” (With an estimated net worth of $300 million, he’s one of the few rock stars who might actually be able to back that up.)

Simmons went on to elaborate, saying, “In all seriousness for the fans, for something to be called Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is such an insult to Madonna, Blondie and Tone Loc. Who the f— knows what other disco act is in there? It’s an insult to them because they don’t get to be in the ‘Dance Hall of Fame,’ because that’s what they do. They’re legitimate dance, disco artists. They don’t belong in rock and roll.”

Jumping in before someone could point out that the only way Tone Loc is ever getting in the Hall of Fame is by purchasing a ticket, Kiss frontman Paul Stanley added, “The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has reached a point where they’re really scrounging and scratching to find someone left that they consider viable. With all due respect, when you get to Patti Smith you’re about two steps away from Pete Seeger.”

What do you think? Do the guys from Kiss have a point, or is this just part of their dismissive attitude toward pop music — and pop artists — in general?

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