Here’s wishing a very happy birthday to KISS‘ Paul Stanley, who was born 70 years ago today.
The band’s frontman, co-lead singer and rhythm guitarist was born Stanley Eisen in New York City. He was born with a deformed ear caused by a defect called microsia that also left him deaf in that ear.
In his late teens, Paul joined a group called Rainbow that featured bassist/singer Gene Simmons. The band changed its name to Wicked Lester in 1971 and eventually recruited drummer Peter Criss and guitarist Ace Frehley. In 1973, the group again changed its name…to KISS. The band members soon came up with costumes and face makeup for themselves, with Stanley choosing the persona “The Starchild,” featuring a star over his right eye.
With their cartoonish look and over-the-top live shows featuring pyrotechnics and other dramatic effects, KISS soon became one of the most popular rock bands on the planet. Over the years, Stanley has written or co-written many of KISS’ biggest hits and most popular songs, including “Rock and Roll All Nite,” “Shout It Out Loud,” “Detroit Rock City,” “Hard Luck Woman,” “I Was Made for Lovin’ You,” “Lick It Up” and “Forever.”
Stanley and Simmons have continued to lead KISS through the band’s entire history, while a number of musicians have filled the guitarist and drummer slots over the years.
In 2014, Stanley was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as a member of KISS.
Outside of KISS, Stanley is an accomplished painter and also has released a few solo projects. His most recent was the debut album by his side project Paul Stanley’s Soul Station, Now and Then, which arrived in 2021. The album featured covers of a variety of classic soul tunes from the 1960s and ’70s, as well as a handful of originals.
Meanwhile, Stanley has had a rough go of it during the last several months, overcoming two bouts with COVID-19 and undergoing shoulder surgery in late 2021.
Thankfully, Paul appears to be on the mend as KISS prepares to relaunch its End of the Road farewell tour with an Australian leg that kicks off in March.
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