In the late ’70s and early ’80s, the eccentric rock band KISS was in its heyday and frontman Gene Simmons was living the full rockstar lifestyle—complete with an equally famous significant other. Music legend Cher was at Simmons’s side in the late ’70s until he left her for her best friend, another name you might recognize: Diana Ross. Here’s the story of the infamous love triangle.
Gene Simmons And Cher Were Very Much In Love
Simmons and Cher began their relationship in 1978, and they quickly became very serious about each other. Simmons even became involved in the lives of Cher’s children and considered the prospect of marriage. In a 1979 interview with People, Simmons gushed “I’m crazy about Cher, nuts about her. She’s my first love…Cher’s an untainted soul who has never done anything bad to anybody.”
In that same interview, Cher dished that she had spent a quarter of a million dollars on a Colorado cabin for the pair to stay in for the holidays. However, before Christmas of 1979 could come, everything changed.
Enter Diana Ross
With the holidays approaching, Simmons asked Cher what she would like for a Christmas gift, and Cher told the rockstar to consult her best friend, Diana Ross. In his 2002 memoir, Simmons recounted following Cher’s wishes, but recalled immediately being enamored by Ross:
“I remember coming in and immediately thinking two things about her: first, that she was very sensual, and second, that she was in firm control of her career,” Over time, the two became close friends and even went on sporting outings together, but Simmons claimed they didn’t have any questionable intentions.
“We didn’t think much of it, and I’m not sure that either of us had any hidden agenda, but pretty quickly it became apparent something was happening.”
Simmons ultimately made the decision to end his relationship with Cher in order to pursue one with Ross.
What Happened To Cher And Diana Ross’s Friendship?
While it would be logical to assume that Cher was nonplussed by the abrupt ending of her relationship with Simmons, it appears that she didn’t hold any ill-will toward either Simmons or Ross.
According to a 1980 issue of People, Cher and Ross attended one of KISS’s studio sessions together just weeks after the breakup. Besides, history tends to repeat itself—after two years of dating, Simmons left Ross for Playboy model Shannon Tweed, who he remains with as of 2022.
As it turns out Cher and Ross’s camaraderie is still present, with Cher even taking to Twitter to express her affections for Ross as recently as 2017.
While a messy love triangle can often spell the end of even the strongest friendship, we’re glad to see that the two music legends remain cordial decades after the fact.