Kiss (often styled as KISS) is an American hard rock band formed in New York City in January 1973 by Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons and the band’s original manager, Lew Linet. Well known for its members’ face paint and stage outfits, the group rose to prominence in the mid-to-late 1970s with their elaborate live performances—which featured fire breathing, blood-spitting, smoking guitars, shooting rockets, levitating drum kits, and pyrotechnics. The band has gone through multiple lineup changes, with Stanley and Simmons the only remaining original members. Counting the 1978 solo albums, Kiss has been awarded 30 gold albums to date, the most of any American band. The band has sold more than 40 million albums in the United States, of which 25 million have been certified by the RIAA and their worldwide sales exceed 100 million records, making them one of the world’s best-selling bands of all time. The original and best-known lineup consisted of Stanley (lead vocals and rhythm guitar), Simmons (vocals and bass guitar), Ace Frehley (lead guitar and vocals) and Peter Criss (drums and vocals).
It was announced on September 15, 2015, by the RIAA that the band had earned more Gold records than any other American band in the association’s 63-year history, with a total of 30 Gold Album Record Awards (including the band’s four 1978 solo albums).