Wednesday, August 17, 2011

KISS booted from Michael Jackson tribute lineup

Looks like Gene Simmons’ sh*t has hit the fan.

CNN reports promoters yanked KISS from the Michael Jackson tribute show Tuesday after fans called their attention to negative remarks Simmons made about the pop star in the weeks after his death.

The reversals came a day after Katherine Jackson appeared live on CNN to announce the addition of KISS to the lineup for "Michael Forever: The Tribute Concert," scheduled for October 8 in Cardiff, Wales.

"We have listened to Michael's fans and are grateful to have been alerted to these unfortunate statements by Gene Simmons," Global Live Events CEO Chris Hunt told CNN Tuesday.

Fan clubs appeared in open revolt against the tribute show after promoters added the group. Fan websites pointed to published interviews in which Simmons spoke about his suspicions that Jackson, who was acquitted of child molestation in 2005, was a pedophile.

The executors of the Michael Jackson estate also spoke out late Monday, sending a letter to the promoters saying they were "especially disappointed" by the announcement that KISS was in the show. The estate asked promoters to provide an explanation.

"As I am sure you are aware, Mr. Simmons has made numerous disparaging public comments about Michael Jackson after his passing," estate lawyer Howard Weitzman wrote in the letter obtained by CNN. He called media coverage of the controversy "extraordinarily embarrassing."

The promoters replied Tuesday morning.

"Under the circumstances, we fully agree that even though KISS is a band Michael admired, we have no choice but to rescind our invitation to them to appear in our tribute concert," Hunt said.

Promoters, who had hoped the addition of the legendary group would bolster their lineup, said they were unaware of Simmons' statements when they booked KISS for the show.

"We offer our sincerest apologies to Mrs. Jackson and the family for this oversight. Our primary concern must be to do justice to Michael's memory, and to put on a tribute that the family and the fans will find suitable and fit for a King, our King of Pop," Hunt said.

No word yet from the KISS camp - or Simmons directly - in response to the news.


KISS – Deuce
Rock Am Ring – Nurburg, Germany - June 3, 2010

See also:

KISS to play Michael Jackson tribute concert
KISS: Kissology Volume 4 details surface
KISS: Paul Stanley welcomes fourth child to family
KISS: Ace Frehley has No Regrets
New KISS book to focus on early years
KISS: Ace Frehley autobiography due in November