Gene Simmons of KISS made some interesting comments regarding Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse during a recent interview. Simmons, said that neither Cobain, or Winehouse deserves to be considered a musical icon. As a matter of fact, he doesn't think anybody from the last 30 years deserves the honor, saying, “From 1984 until today, name one superstar that’s bigger than their music, and not just somebody that’s recorded one or two records, but another Queen or AC/DC, or somebody with a body of work? You can’t name one. Kurt Cobain? No, that’s one or two records. That’s not enough. Amy Winehouse? That’s one or two records. That’s not enough. What, just because you died, that makes you an icon? No, no, there aren’t any.”
Gene is sort of right for the most part... but I can name a couple for consideration. John Bon Jovi has had an incredibly long an successful career, and his first album came out in '84. And here's another one who exploded back then, and is still producing great music... on his own terms, instead of puking out simple hits to make a record company rich at the expense of great music.... Prince. And if you're talking about actually being bigger than their music, I would throw Madonna into that conversation. Though I thought her music was mind numbing, simple drivel, I can't deny the fact that she was bigger than her music, and is still immensely popular and powerful in the music industry.
Photo by Alberto Cabello from Vitoria Gasteiz (Gene Simmons (KISS)) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons