Gene Simmons defends Jojo Siwa’s Kiss-inspired transformation after fans criticise her rebrand

Legendary rocker Gene Simmons has rushed to JoJo Siwa’s defense following much criticism surrounding her KISS-inspired look at the iHeartRadio Music Awards 2024.

The KISS musician declared that social media trolls were simply “jealous” of the Dance Moms alum’s new black and white look, telling TMZ on 3 April that he approved of Siwa’s transformation.

“Never be ordinary. Always be extraordinary. JoJo is extraordinary and she looks cool,” the rocker told the outlet.

Simmons’ comments come after many critics believed Siwa was ripping off KISS’s iconic black-and-white full face makeup during her appearance at this year’s iHeartRadio Music Awards. The 20-year-old internet personality debuted her supposed rebrand on 1 April, when she attended the red carpet event dressed in a black and silver mesh bodysuit.

The ensemble featured sheer and fishnet cut-outs, as she paired the look with black combat boots and a faux hawk hairstyle. As for her face makeup, Siwa was decked out with black paint around her eyes - a far cry from her once-notorious rainbow clothes, bows, and high ponytail.

 (Getty Images for iHeartRadio)
(Getty Images for iHeartRadio)

While many fans were confused by Siwa’s transformation, the So You Think You Can Dance judge maintained that she won’t let the criticism get to her. “People are afraid of things they don’t know,” she told E! News on the iHeartRadio Music Awards red carpet. “Things can be scary for people. New things can be very, very scary.”

Siwa’s rebellious transformation appeared to be in response to her upcoming single, “Karma”, which is due for release on 5 April. The singer has been teasing her rebrand to fans on social media, sharing cryptic posts ahead of the single’s release. Speaking to E! News, Siwa revealed that she wore the same dramatic ensemble in the music video for “Karma”.

“This is my ‘Karma’ black beast look,” Siwa said. “It’s got some rips in it, but you’d never know.”

The Special Forces star also maintained how she feels “very lucky” to be “one of the people in the world that gets to create art”.

“The way that I’m able to keep going and keep being like: ‘Wait, actually what I’m doing is right,’ is because some of the most respected people in the world have come up to me and been like: ‘What you’re doing right now is so right. It is what the world needs, and I’m learning from what you are doing right now,’” Siwa added. “Support from people like that means the world to me.”