Kiss (often stylized as KISS) is an American rock band formed in New York City in January 1973 by Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Peter Criss, and Ace Frehley. Well known for its members' face paint and stage outfits, the group rose to prominence in the mid-to-late 1970s with their elaborate live performances, which featured fire breathing, blood-spitting, smoking guitars, shooting rockets, levitating drum kits, and pyrotechnics. The band has gone through several lineup changes, with Stanley and Simmons the only remaining original members.
The original and best-known lineup consisted of Stanley (vocals and rhythm guitar), Simmons (vocals and bass guitar), Frehley (lead guitar and vocals), and Criss (drums and vocals). With their make-up and costumes, they took on the personae of comic book-style characters: The Starchild (Stanley), The Demon (Simmons), The Spaceman or Space Ace (Frehley), and The Catman (Criss). Due to creative differences, both Criss and Frehley had departed the group by 1982.
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