KISS

Kiss is an American rock band formed in New York City in January 1973. Easily identified by their trademark face paint and stage outfits, the group rose to prominence in the mid-1970s on the basis of their elaborate live performances, which featured fire-breathing, blood spitting, smoking guitars, and pyrotechnics. Kiss has been awarded 34 gold albums to date. The group's worldwide sales exceed 100 million albums.

The original lineup of Paul Stanley (vocals and rhythm guitar), Gene Simmons (vocals and bass guitar), Ace Frehley (lead guitar and vocals), and Peter Criss (drums, percussion and vocals) is the most successful and identifiable. With their makeup and costumes, they took on the personae of comic book-style characters: The Demon (Simmons), Starchild (Stanley), Space Ace (Frehley), and The Catman (Criss). The band explains that the fans were the ones who ultimately chose their makeup designs. The "Demon" makeup reflected Gene's cynicism and dark elements. Paul Stanley became the "Starchild" due to his tendency to be referred to as the "starry-eyed lover" and "hopeless romantic." Ace Frehley's "Space Ace" makeup was a reflection of him wanting to go for a ride in a space ship and supposedly being from another planet. Peter Criss' "Catman" makeup was in accordance with the belief that Peter had nine lives due to his rough childhood in Brooklyn. Due to creative differences, both Criss and Frehley were out of the group by 1982. The band's commercial fortunes had also...