Kiss is an American hard rock band formed in New York City in January 1973. Well known for its members' face paint and flamboyant 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. Counting the 1978 solo albums, Kiss has been awarded 28 gold albums to date, the most of any American rock band. The band has sold more than 40 million albums in the United States, of which 45 million have been certified by the RIAA and their worldwide sales exceeds 100 million records, making them one of the world’s best-selling bands of all time. The original 1973–80 lineup consisted of Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss.
With their makeup and costumes, they took on the personas of comic book-style characters: Starchild, The Demon, Spaceman or Space Ace and Catman. Stanley became the "Starchild" because of his tendency to be referred to as the "starry-eyed lover" and "hopeless romantic". The "Demon" makeup reflected Simmons' cynicism and dark sense of humor, as well as his affection for comic books.