KISS is regarded as one of the most influential rock and roll bands of all-time.
The band holds honors as one of America's top gold record champions, selling over 100 million albums worldwide in their 40 year career. KISS' career milestones are staggering, boasting decades of record-breaking tours around the globe. Notable moments include appearances at Super Bowl XXXIII, the 2002 Winter Olympics, the 2005 Rockin' The Corps concert for U.S. troops Iraq and Afghanistan, and performing on 2009's American Idol finale to 30 million viewers.
The KISS legacy continues to grow, generation after generation, transcending age, race and creed. The unparalleled devotion and loyalty of the KISS Army to the "Hottest Band in the World" is a striking testament to the band's unbreakable bond with its fans.
KISS In The 1970s
Early 1970s - KISS traces its roots to Wicked Lester, a New York-based rock and roll band led by co-founders Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley. Unhappy with the direction of Wicked Lester, Simmons and Stanley part ways with the other members in 1972 after Epic Records rejected an album recorded by the group.
Late 1972 - Simmons spots an ad in Rolling Stone placed by Peter Criss, a drummer "looking to do anything to make it". Criss auditions and begins rehearsing with Simmons and Stanley as a trio.
January 1973 - Simmons, Stanley and Criss audition lead guitarist Ace Frehley. That same month the Wicked Lester name is dropped and the band becomes KISS. Stanley is credited with coming up with the name, while Frehley designs the original version of the now-famous KISS logo.
January 30, 1973 - KISS play their first show at a club in Queens, NY called Popcorn.
June 1973 - KISS records a five-song demo tape with producer Eddie Kramer, which winds up in the hands of former teen pop singer and Buddah Records executive Neil Bogart.
August 1973 - After a handful of showcase concerts in the summer of 1973, former TV director Bill Aucoin is hired to become the band's manager. With the help of Aucoin, KISS becomes the first act signed to Bogart's new label, Casablanca Records.
October 10, 1973 - The band enters Bell Sound Studios in New York City and begins recording their first album.
December 31, 1973 - KISS play concert at the Academy of Music in New York City. Simmons sets his hair ablaze while performing his newly inaugurated fire-breathing stunt.
February 5, 1974 - KISS begins first North American tour in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, at the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, as an opening act.
February 18, 1974 - The band's self-titled debut album, KISS is released.
February 21, 1974 - KISS performs Nothin' to Lose, Firehouse and Black Diamond for what would become their first national television appearance, on ABC's In Concert (airing March 29).
April 29 1974 - KISS performs Firehouse on The Mike Douglas Show, a broadcast that also includes Gene Simmons' first televised interview.
August 1974 - KISS begins recording their second album, Hotter Than Hell, in Los Angeles and is released October 22, 1974. Album sales are lackluster, but the band's live show starts to create a buzz.
March 19, 1975 - Dressed To Kill is released in March 1975. The album includes Rock And Roll All Nite, a soon-to-be the rock-anthem of the generations.
April 1, 1975 - KISS appears live on NBC-TV's Midnight Special, as the band's over-the-top live performances begin to solidify their reputation as the Hottest Band in the Land.
September 1975 - KISS harness the excitement of their bombastic live performance. KISS Alive! Is released and record sales explode.
October 9, 1975 - KISS celebrate KISS Day in Cadillac, MI after the Cadillac High football team wins the state championship after listening to KISS music before every game.
November 21, 1975 - KISS's popularity grows by leaps and bounds. The KISS ARMY, the band's newly inaugurated fan club quickly grows to six figures.
December 31, 1975 - KISS is presented with their first Gold Record awards for KISS Alive! prior to going onstage at Nassau Coliseum, Long Island, NY. Alive! would go on to achieve quadruple platinum status, and spawned KISS's first top 40 single, the live version of Rock And Roll All Nite.
March 15, 1976 - Destroyer is released. The Bob Ezrin-produced studio album becomes KISS's most commercially successful studio album. Many of the songs from Destroyer remain KISS concert staples to this day.
October 31, 1976 - KISS appears on the The Paul Lynde Halloween Special and performs Detroit Rock City, Beth and King of the Night Time World. For many KISS fans, this was their first exposure to KISS's dramatic stage show and outrageous appearance.
Late 1976 - Two more studio albums continued to fuel the KISS fire, November 1976's Rock and Roll Over and June 1977's smash hit Love Gun.
February 10, 1977 - KISS are presented with the People's Choice Award for the single Beth in the Best Song category.
February 18, 1977 - KISS headline Madison Square Garden in New York City for the first time.
May 26, 1977 - KISS announce their debut KISS Marvel Comic book and deposit their own blood in the comic book ink at the Marvel printing plant.
June 22, 1977 - KISS is voted the #1 band in America by Gallup Poll. KISS's tour of Japan breaks attendance records previously held by The Beatles. KISSteria is in full effect.
August 26, 1977 - KISS's three-night stand at the Forum in Los Angeles, CA. is recorded for Alive II. Released on October 14, 1977, the multi-platinum follow-up to Alive! contains three live sides in addition to a fourth side of new studio recordings.
March 1, 1978 - The first of many KISS greatest hits compilations, titled Double Platinum is released.
September 18, 1978 - The four KISS solo albums Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley, Paul Stanley and Peter Criss are released simultaneously, shipping one million copies of each album.
October 28, 1978 - The NBC Movie Of The Week, KISS Meets Phantom of the Park premieres in prime time. Phantom of the Park was one of the highest-rated TV movies of the year.
May 23, 1979 - KISS release Dynasty, which contains the worldwide smash hit I Was Made For Lovin' You. The song, which combined elements of the KISS sound with disco, was a top-ten hit throughout the world.
August 16, 1979 - KISS single I Was Made For Lovin' You is awarded gold certification for one million singles sold.
KISS In The 1980s
May 20, 1980 - Drummer Peter Criss leaves KISS shortly after the release of Unmasked. Criss appears illustrated on the cover and also made an appearance in the music video for the song Shandi, but didn't contribute in the recording of the album.
June, 1980 - New York drummer Eric Carr joins KISS and is christened The Fox. Carr makes his KISS debut on stage at a one-off show at New York's Palladium Theatre. The band departs for a subsequent tour of Europe and Australia, where KISSmania explodes in the Land-down-under.
November 11, 1981 - A KISS concept album, Music From the Elder, the first with drummer Eric Carr, fails to go gold and only reaches 75 on Billboard's Album chart.
October 25, 1982 - KISS release Creatures of the Night. Guitarist Ace Frehley decides to leave the band to pursue a solo career. Frehley is replaced by Vinnie Vincent in time for the KISS 10th Anniversary Tour. Vincent is given the character of an Egyptian ankh.
June 18, 1983 - KISS performs for 137,000 fans at Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This and two other stadium shows in Brazil would be the last time KISS would perform in their signature makeup until the KISS Reunion Tour in 1996.
On September 18, 1983 - KISS shock the music world by appearing without their signature makeup for the first time live on an MTV prime-time TV special and debut video for the title track, Lick It Up.
September 23, 1983 - KISS release Lick It Up, the first KISS album released sans makeup.
September 17, 1984 - Animalize, is released and becomes a multi-platinum success. Heaven's on Fire and Thrills in the Night became huge MTV hits and the band continued to be a solid concert draw.
October 1984 - Lead guitarist Bruce Kulick joins KISS during the Animalize tour. Throughout the 1980's, KISS continues to release best-selling albums; September 1985's Asylum, September 1987's Crazy Nights and the November 1988 compilation Smashes, Thrashes & Hits.
April 19, 1985 - KISS: Animalize Live Uncensored long form video is released in the US.
May 18, 1987 - KISS long form video Exposed is released.
October 17, 1989 - KISS release the critically acclaimed Hot in the Shade, which features the top-ten hit ballad Forever.
KISS In The 1990s
Late 1991 - KISS enters the recording studio, again with producer Bob Ezrin to record the highly praised Revenge album. Sadly, drummer Eric Carr became severely ill with cancer and passes away on November 24, 1991 at the age of 41. Devastated, KISS continues with drummer Eric Singer and finishes the album.
May 14, 1992 - KISS Revenge is released and dedicated to the late Eric Carr. The band follows Revenge with the release of Alive III, in May 1993.
July 14, 1992 - KISS Extreme Close-up long form video is released in the US.
June 20, 1993 - KISS Konfidential long form video is released.
June 21, 1994 - KISS My Ass, a compilation album featuring popular artists of the era putting their own spin on KISS classics is released.
August 8, 1994 - KISS KISS My Ass long form video released US.
February 3, 1995 - KISS stages the first Official Worldwide KISS Convention in Perth, Australia. The unique and revolutionary KISS Convention tour of 1995 features a traveling KISS Museum displaying vintage KISS stage outfits, instruments, and memorabilia. Performances by KISS tribute bands, KISS collectors/dealers buying, selling and trading KISS merchandise, precludes an evening appearance by KISS themselves, appearing live and in person, conducting a question and answer session, autograph signing, and a two-hour unplugged set comprised mostly of spontaneous fan requests.
March, 1995 - KISS publishes and releases its own 9-pound, 440 page coffee table book, KISSTORY.
June 17, 1995 - Former KISS drummer Peter Criss visits the first North American KISS Convention in Los Angeles with his daughter. Peter joins the band onstage singing KISS classics Hard Luck Woman and Nothin' to Lose.
August 9, 1995 - KISS performs on MTV Unplugged. The band invites former members Peter Criss and Ace Frehley to participate in a mini-reunion onstage for several songs at the end of the Unplugged set.
Late 1995 - In the months following the Unplugged concert, the band returned to the studio for the first time in three years to record Carnival of Souls. The album was completed, but its release was delayed for two years.
January 1996 - With the amazing response to the Unplugged show, plans begin for an official KISS reunion with the four original members.
February 28, 1996 - The four original KISS members, Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss make a surprise appearance at the 38th annual Grammy Awards show in Los Angeles in full KISS makeup and costume, the first time in 17 years.
April 16, 1996 - KISS officially announce the reunion of the four original members and the subsequent Alive Worldwide Reunion tour at a press conference on the aircraft carrier USS Intrepid in New York City. The conference is simulcast to 58 countries worldwide.
June 15, 1996 - KISS's four original members perform onstage together in makeup for the first time in 17 years at KROQ's Weenie Roast in Irvine, CA as an Alive Worldwide Reunion tour warm-up.
June 28, 1996 - The KISS Alive Worldwide Reunion tour kicks off at Tiger Stadium, Detroit, MI, selling out 40,000 tickets in 40 minutes. The mammoth 13-month tour covers 200 shows in 26 countries, playing to over two million people, setting a record for the top-grossing tour of the year.
July 25, 1996 - KISS plays four consecutive sold out shows at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
August 1996 - SPIN Magazine, in their largest selling issue ever, unveil each KISS member solo on four individual covers.
September 4, 1996 - KISS perform under the Brooklyn Bridge in New York for the MTV Video Music Awards.
June 1997 - KISS plays two sold-out shows at Stockholm Sweden's Olympic Stadium, setting the record for the largest single event at the stadium since the 1912 Olympics.
September 21, 1998 - KISS announce the release of the Psycho Circus album and tour at a press conference at the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, CA.
September 22, 1998 - KISS Psycho Circus, the first album of new material recorded with the original four KISS members since 1979 is released. The Grammy Award nominated album for "Best Hard Rock Performance" was recorded and mixed in Los Angeles in early 1998.
October 31, 1998 - The highly anticipated KISS Psycho Circus tour in 3D KISS kicks off with a special October 31st Halloween performance at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.
November 24, 1998 - KISS The Second Coming long-form video is released. The double-platinum selling video chronicles the story of how the four original members reunited for the Reunion tour of 1996-97.
January 31, 1999 - KISS performs at Super Bowl XXXIII in Miami, FL.
March 1999 - KISS graces the cover of their own issue of Playboy Magazine, the first time for any music group.
August 11, 1999 - KISS are presented with their own star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame. The presentation by Hollywood Mayor Johnny Grant is attended by hundreds of KISS faithful.
August 13, 1999 - KISS's first feature film Detroit Rock City is released by New Line Cinema.
December 31, 1999 - KISS perform a special New Year's Eve show in Vancouver, Canada's BC Place Stadium and ring in the new millennium.
KISS 2000 - Present
February 10, 2000 - KISS announce the KISS Farewell tour that kicks off in Phoenix, AZ on March 11th, becoming one of the year's top concert tours.
January 2001 - On the eve of the Australia/Japanese leg of the KISS Farewell tour, Peter Criss leaves the band and is replaced by former KISS drummer Eric Singer, now donning the Catman makeup.
November 20, 2001 - KISS The Box Set is released.
January, 2002 - KISS become America's #1 Gold Record Champions.
February 24, 2002 - KISS performs at the XIX Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony in Salt Lake City to a worldwide audience of over three billion TV viewers.
March 6, 2002 - KISS performs at a private concert in Trelawney, Jamaica. Prior to leaving for Jamaica, Ace Frehley declines to go and is replaced by guitarist Tommy Thayer, donning the Spaceman makeup and costume.
April 19, 2002 - KISS appear on the nationally televised primetime performance on Dick Clark's American Bandstand 50th Anniversary show on ABC.
February 28, 2003 - KISS performs together onstage with the 70-piece Melbourne Symphony Orchestra at the Telstra Dome in Melbourne, Australia and records and films KISS Symphony Alive IV.
August 2, 2003 - The KISS World Domination tour kicks off in Hartford, CT. The co-headline tour with Aerosmith sees the return of original KISS drummer Peter Criss to the lineup.
September 9, 2003 - KISS Symphony Alive IV DVD is released and is certified platinum by the RIAA.
May 8, 2004 - KISS starts the Rock The Nation tour in Perth, Australia. Drummer Eric Singer is back on the skins. The band films and records Washington DC and Virginia Beach concerts in July, 2004.
April 1, 2005 - KISS performs for 40,000 at the Camp Pendleton Rockin' The Corps concert, dedicated to US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
December 13, 2005 - KISS releases the two-disc DVD KISS Rock The Nation Live! to rave reviews.
May 25, 2006 - KISS inaugural honorees of "VH1 Rock Honors."
July 18, 2006 - KISS open Japan tour in Nagoya. Also, perform at UDO Music Festival.
October 31, 2006 - KISSOLOGY Volume 1 released. Certified 5 X platinum.
July 21, 2007 - KISS set attendance record at Rock Fest in Cadott, Wisconsin. Over 40,000 attend!
August 14, 2007 - KISSOLOGY Volume 2 released. Certified 6X platinum.
December 18, 2007 - KISSOLOGY Volume 3 released. Certified 8X platinum.
January, 2008 - KISSOLOGY DVD series certified by the RIAA 20X platinum!
March 16, 2008 - KISS open ALIVE 35 world tour to 80,000 fans at the Melbourne Grand Prix. Play sold-out arenas and stadiums throughout Europe (in Summer '08) on their most successful European tour ever. Performed in Russia, Greece, Bulgaria and Latvia for first time ever
August 4, 2008 - KISS rock over 50,000 at Sturgis Bike Rally in South Dakota. Governor Rounds declares KISS Day in South Dakota.
April 3, 2009 - KISS open ALIVE 35 South American tour in Santiago, Chile. Play sold-out stadiums across South America. Performed in Columbia, Venezuela and Peru for first time ever.
May, 2009 - KISS perform on American Idol season finale to over 30 million TV viewers.
July 10, 2009 - KISS open ALIVE 35 Canadian tour by setting attendance record at Sarnia Bayfest.
September 25, 2009 - KISS opens the US leg of their ALIVE 35 Tour with a triumphant SOLD OUT show at COBO Arena in Detroit.
October 6, 2009 - KISS release Sonic Boom, their first studio album in 11 years.The album receives world-wide critical acclaim from fans and press!
February 7, 2010 - KISS' new Dr. Pepper Commercial premieres during Super Bowl XLIV.
May 1, 2010 - KISS kicks off their SONIC BOOM OVER EUROPE tour in Sheffield, England.
July 23, 2010 - KISS launch their Hottest Show on Earth Tour with record-breaking crowd in Cheyenne, WY.
March 15, 2011 - KISS rocks over 70,000 fans in the round at Reliant Stadium during Rodeo Houston.
October, 13, 2011 - KISS launch the first-ever KISS KRUISE with over 2500 fans from around the globe.
March 15, 2012 - KISS appear at grand opening of KISS by Monster Mini Golf in Las Vegas, NV.
July 20, 2012 - KISS & Motley Crue open THE TOUR in Bristow, Virginia (just outside of Washington D.C.)
October 9, 2012 - KISS release MONSTER, their 20th studio album.
November 7, 2012 - KISS open the South American MONSTER Tour with over 60,000 fans at River Plate Stadium in Buenos Aires, Argentina.