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Who are they? One of the most influential rock bands of all time, formed in New York an incredible 37 years ago.

What are they famous for? Stadium shaking anthems, onstage pyrotechnics, 70s glam rock outfits and outrageous full-face make-up.

Distinguishing features? Apart from lead singer Gene Simmons's legendary freaky long tongue, it's got to be their black and white make-up. Each band member has his own character persona and a look to match: Simmons is The Demon, guitarist Paul Stanley is Starchild and there's a Spaceman and a Catman, too.

Career high? Kiss are one of America''s top gold record champions, recording 37 albums and selling over 100m albums worldwide. Three decades of record-breaking tours include highprofile appearances at Super Bowl XXXIII, the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and, most recently, the 2009 American Idol finale, in front of 30m viewers.

Career low? Tensions in the band led to several line-up changes and a slump in popularity, highlighted when their 1982 album, Creatures of the Night, reached only number 45 in the charts.

Significant others? Gene Simmons is currently living with longtime partner and former Playboy Playmate Shannon Tweed. They have two children, Nick and Sophie. He was previously in relationships with Cher and Diana Ross.

Not to be confused with? Actress Jean Simmons. She starred in The Thorn Birds.

They say? Simmons says: "James Bond has a licence to kill, rockstars have a licence to be outrageous. Rock is about grabbing people''s attention."

Interesting fact? Gene Simmons's tongue has reportedly been measured at seven inches - three inches longer than the average!

KISS play the ECHO Arena on May 4. For tickets call 0844 8000 400
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jan 22, 2010
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