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KISS singer-guitarist Paul Stanley is dealing with his second bout of COVID-19 in the past six months, and this time he’s been infected with the Omicron variant. In fact, the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer’s entire family has tested positive for the new strain.
The rock veteran first contracted COVID-19 in August, just a few shows after KISS had resumed their postponed farewell tour. Although Stanley has been a staunch advocate for mask-wearing and vaccines, he faced criticism when he was seen outside a hotel without a mask just days after revealing that he tested positive.
On Sunday evening (December 26th), Stanley announced that he had once again contracted COVID-19, writing alongside a selfie on Instagram, “My Omicron face! Yup. My entire family has it. I’m tired and have sniffles. Most of my family have absolutely no symptoms. Do as you choose. I’m so glad I’m vaccinated.”
Originally, KISS had postponed just a few shows due when Stanley contracted COVID-19, but then bandmate Gene Simmons also tested positive, forcing the legendary rock act to put the outing on hold for two weeks. They did resume touring in early September and finished out the US leg on October 16th, before playing the KISS Kruise at the end of October.
KISS previously nixed their scheduled Las Vegas residency, which ironically would have kicked off this Wednesday (December 29th), meaning the initial shows likely would have been canceled anyway due to Stanley’s current COVID-19 infection. Earlier this month, Simmons blamed too many competing Vegas shows for the cancellation, saying, “You go down the street and you can see many more artists. I mean, it’s packed.”
COVID-19 has reared its ugly head among KISS’ crew, as well, with one longtime guitar tech, Francis Stueber, passing away in his hotel room after getting infected in the midst of the band’s tour. Other crew members blasted KISS and the allegedly lax protocols surrounding the tour, with one roadie telling Rolling Stone at the time, “I couldn’t believe how unsafe it was, and that we were still going.”
While stating that they were “profoundly heartbroken” by the passing of Stueber, KISS added, “We are now aware there were crew members who attempted to conceal signs of illness, and when it was discovered, refused medical attention…. Furthermore, it has recently been brought to our attention that certain crew members may have provided fake vaccination cards which, if true, we find morally reprehensible (as well as illegal), putting the entire tour in harm’s way.”
Had it not been for the pandemic, KISS had planned on wrapping up their “End of the Road” farewell tour this past summer. In a recent interview, Stanley revealed that the last show will now likely come in early 2023.
As it stands now, KISS have a tour of Australia lined up for the spring, followed by a European outing set for the summer. They’ve also been announced as one of the headliners — alongside Guns N’ Roses, Foo Fighters, and Korn — for the 2022 Welcome to Rockville festival, taking place May 19th-22nd in Daytona Beach, Florida (tickets available here).
See Paul Stanley’s Instagram post below.