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.
Cher and Gene Simmons were very much in love
Simmons and Cher started their relationship in 1978. They quickly fell in love with each other. Simmons even became involved in the lives of Cher’s children and considered the prospect of marriage. In an interview in 1979 with PeopleSimmons was a gushing. “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.”
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Cher revealed that she had spent nearly a quarter million dollars to purchase a Colorado cabin that the couple could use for their holidays. Everything changed however, just before Christmas 1979.
Enter Diana Ross
Simmons asked Cher for her Christmas wishes. Cher informed Simmons that she had spoken to Diana Ross, her best friend, about what she would like. His 2002 memoir is here. 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 made the final decision to end his marriage to Cher in order to start a new relationship 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.
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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.