Kiss is an American hard rock band from New York. It was formed in January 1973 by guitarist Paul Stanley and bassist Gene Simmons. Very popular, thanks in particular to their make-up, their extravagant costumes, their numerous special effects on stage and Gene Simmons' famous very large tongue, Kiss has sold more than 60 million albums in the United States (of which more than 24 million have been certified by the RIAA) and more than 150 million worldwide, making Kiss one of the best-selling bands in the history of music. The band and its solo members have garnered 30 gold, 9 platinum and 10 multi-platinum records in the U.S. alone. Kiss is also known for its numerous merchandising products that sell in industrial quantities, so that in 2006 the Kiss "brand" is valued at one billion US dollars. Kiss is thus one of the largest and most successful hard rock bands in the history of music. It is also one of the precursor bands of glam metal, a genre that was very popular during the 1980s.
Some of the band's greatest hits include I Was Made for Lovin' You, Rock and Roll All Nite, Detroit Rock City, Strutter, Love Gun, Beth, Shout It Out Loud, Lick It Up, and Heaven's on Fire.
Paul Stanley (vocals and rhythm guitar), Gene Simmons (vocals and bass), Ace Frehley (lead guitar and vocals), and Peter Criss (drums, percussion and vocals) are the most identifiable and successful band. With their make-up and costumes, they take on the style of comic book characters: the "demon" (Gene Simmons), the "son of the stars" (Paul Stanley), the "spaceman" (Ace Frehley then Tommy Thayer) and the "cat man" (Peter Criss then Eric Singer). These characters are a time joined - or replaced - by the "warrior Ânkh" (Vinnie Vincent) and the "fox".
Kiss is named by VH1 10th on their list of the 100 best hard rock artists8 and 56th on their list of the 100 best artists of all time. The band is ranked 9th on MTV's Best Metal Band list. The band is also ranked #1 on Hit Parader's Best Live Band Rankings and 3rd and 9th, respectively, on the Loudwire webzine and Classic Rock magazine's Best Live Bands of All Time lists. In 2006, the band was honored at the VH1 Rock Honors, a ceremony to pay tribute to rock legends. Kiss will play a few songs before a supergroup composed of big names in rock plays the song God of Thunder for the occasion. On September 23, 2009, Kiss was named to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but was not inducted into the Hall until April 2014. In the same month, the band sold a total of 150 million albums worldwide.