Since the passing of the iconic Prince, musicians around the world are still in mourning over the sudden loss of one of music's greatest stars. KISS bassist Gene Simmons, always a lightning rod for controversy, made some unsavory remarks about the musician's death, calling it, in short, "pathetic." His bandmate Paul Stanley was quick to respond, leading to a Twitter exchange between the frontman and Simmons' wife, Shannon Tweed.

In an interview with Newsweek, Simmons stated, "How pathetic that [Prince] killed himself. Don’t kid yourself, that’s what he did. Slowly, I’ll grant you… but that’s what drugs and alcohol is: a slow death.” Stanley then offered an apology on the bassist's behalf, saying he was "embarrassed by the cold, clueless statements."

Simmons subsequently offered his own apology, stating in part, "I just got such s--t from my family for my big mouth again. I apologize — I have a long history at getting very angry at drug users because of my experience being around them coming up in the rock scene."

Incensed by Stanley's remarks, Simmons' wife Shannon Tweed took aim at the singer on Twitter for what she determined was throwing Simmons under the bus. Tweed felt that since the two have been partners for four decades that these comments were unwarranted. Stanley then fired back, acknowledging the 40-year partnership as reason enough to be able to call out his bandmate and went on to say "don't confuse walking under the bus with being thrown under." Both posts can be seen below.

Before his insensitive comments, Simmons did praise Prince, stating, “I think Prince was heads, hands and feet above all the rest of them. I thought he left [Michael] Jackson in the dust. Prince was way beyond that."

KISS will be embarking on a lengthy North American tour, running from July 7 through Sept. 10. A full list of stops can be found at our 2016 Guide to Rock + Metal Tours.

See Where KISS' Albums Landed on the Top 70 Hard Rock + Metal Albums of the 1970s

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