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Gene Simmons defends JoJo Siwa’s wild Kiss-inspired look at iHeartRadio Music Awards: ‘Never be ordinary’

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Is Gene Simmons a secret Siwanator?

The rocker defended JoJo Siwa’s outrageous Kiss-inspired makeup and outfit at the iHeartRadio Music Awards 2024, telling TMZ Wednesday that he thought social media haters were “jealous” of the pop star’s “cool” look.

Siwa, 20 — who is known for her love of pink, sparkles and bows — shocked fans with her black face paint and glittery sheer catsuit at the awards show, with many comparing her to Simmons, 74, and his band’s legendary wild looks.

JoJo Siwa
Kiss singer Gene Simmons came to the defense of JoJo Siwa after she debuted a wild new look at the iHeart Radio Music Awards on Monday. Getty Images for iHeartRadio
JoJo Siwa
Siwa resembled a member of Kiss as she walked the iHeart Radio red carpet on Monday. Getty Images for iHeartRadio
Gene Simmons
Gene Simmons is known for his black-and-white face paint and theatrical outfits. Redferns
JoJo Siwa
She was known for her giant hair bows and colorful looks in her younger days. Getty Images

While Siwa got plenty of hate for the look on social media, the “Rock and Roll All Nite” singer told TMZ that he loved the “Dance Moms” alum’s edgier new era.

“JoJo is cool. Anybody who doesn’t get it is just jealous, period,” he told the media outlet, adding, “Never be ordinary. Always be extraordinary. JoJo is extraordinary and she looks cool.”

The legendary musician admitted that Siwa’s outfit bore similarities to his Kiss costumes, continuing, “Of course she looks like me, but that’s another story.”

JoJo Siwa
She rocked a mesh catsuit that bore similarities to a Kiss costume. Getty Images for iHeartRadio
JoJo Siwa
Her sheer black-and-silver catsuit was a departure from her usual red carpet ‘fits. Matt Baron/BEI/Shutterstock
JoJo Siwa
Siwa extended her black face makeup up through her hair. Getty Images for iHeartRadio
JoJo Siwa
She wore a plunging bodysuit and sparkly camo pants to the premiere of “Special Forces” in September. FOX Image Collection via Getty Images

Simmons’ statement came after plenty of fans criticized Siwa’s hard rock look, with many taking to social media to wonder what was going on with the “Special Forces” star.

“WHAT THE HELL IS JOJO SIWA WEARING?! Is this supposed to be KISS inspired? Did she lose a bet?” one person wrote on X (formerly known as Twitter).

“Jojo Siwa really heard that KISS was no longer actively touring and decided to sprint with it 😬” another posted, while a third fan added, “i get jojo siwa wanting to change her style but where the hell did this KISS/WWE inspo come from.”

JoJo Siwa
Siwa struck a rocker-like pose at the iHeartRadio Music Awards. Getty Images for iHeartRadio
Jojo Siwa
The reality star showed off some similar face paint in a March 17 Instagram post. itsjojosiwa/Instagram
Jojo siwa
Siwa wore a more on-brand Kiss-themed eye design at the iHeartRadio Can’t Cancel Pride event in 2023. Getty Images for iHeartRadio

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Although her red carPet look took people by surprise, Siwa has been teasing a more adult rebrand for weeks, posing in the same type of Kiss-inspired face makeup in a St. Patrick’s Day Instagram post.

The singer has been promoting her new single, “Karma” with a variety of teaser posts on Instagram, including some racy shots of her kissing women in a Britney Spears-esque sheer catsuit in the song’s music video. She even wears the same all-black iHeartRadio catsuit in the forthcoming music video.

As for her iHeartRadio look and her new era, Siwa told E! News, “People are afraid of things they don’t know. Things can be scary for people. New things can be very, very scary.”

Stay tuned for her next bold look when “Karma” drops on Friday.

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