KISS Album Cover Artist Ken Kelly Has Died at 76
Ken Kelly, the fantasy artist who painted the iconic KISS covers of the rock band's Destroyer (1976) and Love Gun (1977) albums, died this week at age 76, according to reports from Blabbermouth and UCR.
“A moment to remember the great Ken Kelly,” KISS singer and guitarist Paul Stanley said on Saturday (June 4). “His fantasy art captured the larger than life image of KISS perfectly. Rest In Peace.”
See multiple other remembrances about the late artist down toward the bottom of this post.
Kelly created rock and metal album artwork in the '70s, '80s and beyond. He also did Rainbow's Rising (1976) and multiple Manowar album covers, including Fighting the World (1987) and Kings of Metal (1988). His colorful KISS art may well have been his calling card.
Kelly's death was earlier confirmed this week by Danny Stanton, president and founder of concert promoter Coallier Entertainment. Stanton said on Friday (June 3), "RIP KEN KELLY. You will always be a legend in the KISS world. Such a great guy, artist, friend."
Born in Connecticut in 1946, Kelly began in comics and horror mags in the early '70s. Later that decade, then-KISS drummer Peter Criss brought him onboard.
"I had always thought it was [KISS’] Gene Simmons, but Criss' wife said it was he who was reading [me] while Gene and Paul Stanley were reading Marvel," Kelly once told Print. "Criss was fundamentally responsible for me ending up being the cover guy."
Loudwire sends condolences to Kelly's family and friends, fans, KISS and the entire KISS Army.