Gene Simmons (born Chaim Weitz Hebrew: חיים ויץ; August 25, 1949) is an Israeli-American rock bassist, singer, songwriter, musician, actor, and businessman. Known as "The Demon", he is the bassist/vocalist of Kiss, a hard rock band he co-founded in the early 1970s.
Simmons was ranked number 12 in Roadrunner's list of 50 Best Frontmen in Metal History.
Chaim Weitz (later Gene Simmons) was born at the Rambam Hospital in Haifa, Israel in 1949. Mother and children emigrated to Jackson Heights, Queens in New York City when he was eight years old. His mother Flóra Klein (formerly Kovács) was born in Jánd, Hungary. The German name Klein (means: small) is sometimes used informally in Hungarian as Kiss, that gave the rock band's name. Florence and her brother, Larry Klein, were the only members of the family to survive the Holocaust. Simmons' father, Feri Witz, also Hungarian-born, remained in Israel. Simmons says the family was "dirt poor," scraping by on bread and milk. In the United States, Simmons changed his name to Eugene Klein (later Gene Klein), adopting his mother's maiden name. He attended Yeshiva Torah Vodaath in Williamsburg, Brooklyn as a child, from 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.