The Man, the Legend, the Ladies’ Man: Gene Simmons Got Around

Kiss was definitely a legendary band in the heavy metal rock world. They are known for their outlandish performances, high energy, and eccentric costumes and makeup. With their huge success, all the band members managed to make a name for themselves, and they all enjoyed their shared success. However, there was always one band member who particularly stood out: Bassist Gene Simmons.

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With so much success comes fame, fortune, and women, and Simmons definitely used it to his advantage. Although he is known for his music, Simmons was also known to make his rounds in Hollywood and dated a string of women in Hollywood. His commitment issues certainly kept him from getting into anything too serious until he met his wife. But it even took her over two decades to straighten him out.

This is the dating history of Kiss legend Gene Simmons.

Cher, the Goddess of Pop

Simmons was involved with singer Cher for a little while, and, honestly, it makes a whole lot of sense. It doesn’t come as a surprise that one famously extravagant musician would attract another one. The pair dated between 1978 and 1980, and, during that time, they even moved in together!

Source: Pinterest / Photo by Globe Photos, Mediapunch, Shutterstock

I would like to think that they became roommates so that they could borrow each other’s clothes! But they actually met due to their mutual support of former California Governor Jerry Brown. Plus, Cher’s son Chaz Bono was a huge fan of Kiss- Simmons’ band. Unfortunately, their romance came to an end when Simmons’ met another woman.

Diana Ross

While he was still in a relationship with Cher, Simmons met another famous singer, Diana Ross. In fact, Simmons initially hung out with Ross when he asked her to help him find a Christmas present for his girlfriend at the time. What was supposed to be a trip to the mall led to a full-blown romance between the two.

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Simmons and Ross dated for about three years, and, throughout that time, they were seemingly very happy together. Simmons even helped his talented girlfriend leave her record company and land the biggest recording contract in history (at the time). The couple split when Diana’s desire for a family conflicted with Simmons’ free spirit.

Devin Renee DeVaquez

Okay, so to be fair, Simmons’ relationship with Devin Renee DeVaquez was never confirmed. Although it was technically just a rumor, it adds up considering the rest of Simmons’ love life. The speculations began in 2002 when it was reported that the two were in a brief relationship.

Gene Simmons and Devin DeVaquez posing together at an outdoor event
Source: Twitter

But the rumors really began when pictures of the pair looking cozy at different events surfaced. One time they were photographed at a launch party for Tongue, a men’s lifestyle magazine created by Simmons. Of course, being there doesn’t mean they were dating; maybe they were just close friends. What do you think?

Star Stowe

In the mid-1970s, Star Stowe rose to fame as a beautiful Playboy model. Then, she met Simmons, and the two embarked on a pretty long relationship. They dated for several years, and Stowe became good friends with his Kiss bandmates. She was even featured on one of Kiss’ picture disks and took part in a bunch of other publicity shots for them.

KISS posing with Star Stowe
Source: Flickr

As you might have guessed, the pair didn’t live happily ever after. Simmons wasn’t able to commit and, unfortunately, his commitment issues ruined many of his other relationships. However, Simmons’ didn’t have a shortage of women. It didn’t take him long to get back on the horse.

Liv Ullmann

During the 1970s, Simmons got himself involved with stunning actress and director, Liv Ullmann. Despite his famous band, she didn’t even know who Simmons was at the time. They had a short fling which never turned into a relationship. They just went on a few dates before calling things off.

Liv Ullmann sitting on a couch with a cup of tea in a film in 1973
Photo by Cinematograph Ab Sweden / Cinema 5 / Kobal / Shutterstock

The breakup seemed to work out quite well for Ullman. She went on to have an impressive career as an acclaimed actress in movies like The Emigrants and Scenes From a Marriage. She then started directing and was behind some well-received films, including Faithless and Miss Julie.

Connie Hamzy

Once the ‘80s rolled around, Simmons and Connie Hamzy were involved in a short-term fling. Hamzy was friendly with various bands and toured with numerous artists, so she was pretty well-known in the music scene and was nicknamed “Sweet, Sweet Connie.” Grand Funk Railroad even paid tribute to Hamzy in the song We’re an American Band.

Source: Pinterest

Needless to say, she hooked up with countless rock stars and was basically the Queen of the Groupies. Even though she and Simmons broke up, the split was completely amicable. They both took the breakup well and moved on maturely. The two remained good pals afterward.

Wendy O. Williams

Another one of Simmons’ brief relationships was with a woman whose reputation was a good match for his. The Kiss bassist dated the lead singer of the Plasmatics, Wendy O. Williams, and they seemed like a perfect match. The Plasmatics were a heavy metal band known for their insane live shows, which usually involved pyrotechnics and the destruction of instruments.

Wendy O Williams sitting behind Gene Simmons
Source: Pinterest

Williams was known to be a daring and theatrical performer. It didn’t take her long to gain a reputation as the most dynamic and wild performer of the time. Even though her fling with Simmons was short, the pair did have a pleasant and successful work relationship: Gene produced her debut solo album.

Linda Johansen

To make time for all the ladies, many of Gene’s flings ended quickly. Another short-lived romance for the bassist was with Linda Johansen, a gorgeous Norwegian model turned businesswoman. Simmons and Johansen dated for a little while in the early ‘90s, while the model was working as a model and a magazine editor.

Gene Simmons and Linda Johansen embracing
Source: Pinterest

Ultimately, Johansen left the modeling work so she could concentrate on magazine work, which she really enjoyed. Plus, the powerhouse owned two salons! Simmons and Johansen admitted that during their fling in the ‘90s, they hooked up with Charlie Sheen. For some reason, I’m not very surprised.

Jessica Hahn

Simmons certainly had a type. Jessica Hahn revealed that she dated Kiss’s Gene Simmons back in the 1980s. The model turned actress explained that their relationship was short-lived and not as memorable as you’d think. She admitted that she and Simmons were involved with countless people during their time together.

Jessica Hahn at a celebrity event in 1993
Source: Shutterstock

Hahn eventually left modeling to become a full-time actress. You may recognize her from popular shows, including Married…with Children, and Unhappily Ever After. She then retired from her showbiz career and currently lives in California with her husband. She is now 61 years old and gets to say she dated Gene Simmons.

Liza Minnelli

Gene was more than just a rock star and ladies’-man. The musician proved he was also a pretty savvy businessman when he worked as a manager for singer and actress Liza Minnelli. He worked with her for quite a while and helped transform her musical style to fit in with the times.

Liza Minnelli photographed circa 1970
Photo by Barr / Mediapunch / Shutterstock

However, while he was serving as her manager, it was rumored that the pair was an item. Given Simmons’ dating history and knowing he has no problem mixing business with pleasure, it doesn’t really come as a shock. Regardless of their personal relationship, Simmons was happy to represent the Academy award winner and Broadway legend, who also happens to be Judy Garland’s daughter.

Traci Anna Koval

Continuing his habit of dating beautiful models, Simmons was once linked to Traci Anna Koval, a model and energy drink spokeswoman. Like many of his other relationships, this one was brief, and, according to Simmons, it didn’t mean much to him. However, it landed Simmons in some hot water in 2008, when the news of their romance surfaced.

Traci Anna posing against an orange wall
Photo by Kip Rano / Shutterstock

Basically, his relationship with the model took place in 2003. At the time, Simmons was already in a relationship with Shannon Lee Tweed. As you can imagine, Shannon was not happy about this blow, and her relationship with the Kiss bassist has been on the rocks ever since. You know what they say, the truth always comes out eventually.

Georgeann Walsh Ward

Gene Simmons’ relationship with Georgeann Walsh Ward was one of his flings that involved some less than amicable situations. In the 1970s, the couple dated and quickly broke up. It seemed like they didn’t hold any hard feelings or resentment towards one another at the time.

Georgeann Ward with two members of Kiss
Source: Pinterest

But then, in 2005, the documentary When Kiss Ruled the World came out, and let’s just say it sparked some drama. Ward was furious and felt like she was completely misrepresented. She ultimately went as far as to sue Simmons as well as the documentary for defamation. However, the case was settled out of court. Yikes! She sounds like a bitter ex to me.

Bonnie Large

One of Simmons’ flings in the ‘70s was with a woman named Bonnie Large. Here is a shocker: She was also a model, and their relationship was short-lived. Apparently, this was one of Simmons’ happiest relationships, and the couple had great times together. Unfortunately, Simmons’ commitment issues got in the way once again, and their relationship ended.

Bonnie Large posing outside in a button-down blue shirt with sunglasses on her head
Source: Pinterest

Even though her relationship with Simmons seemed random, Bonnie Large had an even more unexpected Hollywood relationship with Michael Crichton. The author is most famous for writing the Jurassic Park books. He also wrote and directed notable movies like Westworld, Rising Sun, and Twister.

Katey Sagal

In the early days of Gene Simmons’ career, the bassist entered a relationship with a woman who also ended up having a successful career in showbiz. Katey Sagal, who was an aspiring actress at the time, was working as a waitress, and one day Kiss walked into the restaurant.

Paul Stanley, Katey Sagal, and Gene Simmons posing together in 1987
Photo by Bei / Shutterstock

It was at the very stars of the band’s career, and I guess Gene had a thing for the waitress. He and Sagal both thought the other was cute, so they went out a couple of times, but it was short-lived. Sagal went on to star on various television shows like Futurama, 8 Simple Rules, Sons of Anarchy, but her most notable role was as Peggy Bundy on Married… with Children.

Shannon Tweed

Simmons has had a bunch of short-lived relationships, but his longest has been with his now-wife, Shannon Tweed. The actress met the rocker in 1983, and the pair began a relationship. She outlasted all of the Simmons’ other ladies, and, even though they only tied the knot in 2011, the couple has been together for 37 years.

Gene Simmons and Shannon Tweed in 1988 / Shannon Tweed and Gene Simmons on the red carpet in 2016
Photo by Alan Berliner, BEI, Shutterstock / Matt Baron, Shutterstock

Simmons has described his wife as his anchor who keeps him grounded and realistic. Like every other relationship, the pair have had their ups and downs. Despite his reputation, the couple is happily married and devoted to each other. It took him a while, but it looks like Gene got over his commitment issues.

Starting the Band

I don’t think there is a person in America who doesn’t recognize Kiss or has at least heard of them. Even though they have become insanely famous, the band struggled to make it big. In 1972, Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley started the band. They later added Peter Criss and Ace Frehley, and Kiss was born.

KISS posing together in front of a brick wall in 1976
Photo by Andre Csillag / Shutterstock

Believe it or not, their first three albums didn’t do too well. Since their albums weren’t selling, Kiss almost lost their record deal. Luckily, their luck changed when they released a live album. They were finally able to bring the energy from their fun on-stage performances into an album. Ever since, Kiss has become a staple in rock culture.

Making It

After KISS released their live album Alive, it was an immediate hit, and it pushed the band into the mainstream. At this point, they drastically shifted their musical style and took on a more dramatic sound to complement their somewhat cartoony persona. They transformed into the band we all know and love today.

KISS performing in Sweden in 1984
Photo by Ibl / Shutterstock

Their next album was also a massive hit. Released in 1976, Destroyer was incredibly successful and even went platinum. It didn’t take long for Kiss to become a household name. They went on to release a string of amazing albums. The band embarked on incredibly successful tours and even appeared on a bunch of merch.

Ups and Downs

Despite their success, Kiss had its share of troubles. The relationship between the bandmates was slowly falling apart. It ultimately led to drummer Peter Criss leaving the band shortly after guitarist Ace Frehley. So much drama behind the scenes! Within the last few years, the band has kind of reemerged and made some questionable decisions.

Ace Frehley and Peter Criss holding skulls and posing together
Photo by Avco Embassy / Kobal / Shutterstock

First of all, they thought it would be a good idea to release four solo albums at once to drive up sales. It didn’t work, and their albums flopped. They also appeared in a critically panned movie called Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park. Sales started to decline, and things weren’t going great. The band desperately needed new momentum.

A Revival

In 1983, the band thought it was time to drop that extravagant makeup and costumes that made them famous in the first place. They kind of grew out of the cartoony phase and thought it was childish, considering little kids showed up at some of their concerts.

KISS performing in 1983
Photo by Ibl / Shutterstock

They released their next album Animalize in September 1984 alongside a much different image. Despite their less extreme image, the album was relatively successful. Unfortunately, the subsequent tour didn’t do so well and had a very low attendance- most likely because they distanced themselves from the dazzling live performances, which had made audiences fall in love with them in the first place.

Gene Simmons isn’t the only musician with an intriguing dating history. Carly Simon also got people talking when she released her incredibly successful song, You’re So Vain. She said the song is about three people, but she only revealed one name. Here are all the possible men that the track could have been written about.