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February 11, 2021

Photos of Cher and Gene Simmons During Their Short Dating in 1979

When Cher dated Gene Simmons in 1979, he and the members of KISS were still obscuring their faces when in public without their makeup.

Though Cher and Simmons both belonged to the mainstream music scene, they didn’t exactly run in the same circles. Their meeting was a “fluke,” precipitated by both their shared support of former California Governor Jerry Brown and Cher’s son Chaz Bono’s love of Simmons’s band, KISS. In early 1978, Cher and Simmons both attended a fundraiser for Brown. Chaz, then nine years old, reportedly begged his mom to help him get an autograph from the flamboyant musician.

By 1979, Simmons and Cher were going strong (enough). Cher, who’d been married and divorced twice by this point, called her and Simmons’s time together “the best relationship I’ve ever had with a human being.” But still, this being the 1970s and all, neither party was monogamous. “Gene might spend time with another woman and stay the night, but he wants her to leave in the morning so he can get on with his day,” Cher told People about her boyfriend’s tour, uh, habits. While she herself admitted to the occasional dalliance “for companionship,” she admitted, “Gene is the one I’m crazy about.”

And Simmons shared his feelings. “I’m crazy about Cher, nuts about her. She’s my first love,” he said. “Cher’s an untainted soul who has never done anything bad to anybody.”

They lived together and Simmons even took to her children. While they loved each other and may have had side dalliances, things changed when Simmons developed feelings for another woman: Diana Ross.

Back in 2015, Simmons revealed that he fell for Ross when he was still dating Cher. He told Mirror that they connected while Christmas shopping for Cher. “One Christmas I asked her what I should buy her and she said, ‘Call my friend Diana Ross, she will tell you exactly what I like as she is my best friend’,” Simmons said. “So, I called Diana up and we went shopping. Then our feelings for each other developed very fast and we started a relationship together. I guess thereafter Cher and Diana never spoke.”

Simmons and Ross dated for two years and Cher moved on with another rocker in 1980: Les Dudek. Contrary to Simmons’ report that the two women stopped being friends, they still are to this day, and he and Cher remain close.




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