KISS frontman Paul Stanley is opening up about how a birth defect pushed him to chase stardom.
| PEOPLE – During a sit down with Dan Rather on The Big Interview, Stanley, 67, says he pursued fame “as a way to compensate for a lot of insecurities.”
“I was born deaf on my right side and I had a birth defect. I had what’s called microtia, which is basically not having an ear. Having a crumpled mass of cartilage.”
According to the Center for Disease Control, microtia “happens when the external ear (the part of the ear that can be seen) is missing completely.”
Because of this Stanley says “I wasn’t very socially adept.”
“When you have something physical that sets you apart from people it makes you really a target of unrelenting scrutiny and sometimes ridicule. And, quite honestly, the idea of becoming famous was a way to push it in people’s faces and go, ‘You see, you should have been nicer to me,’” Stanley told Rather.
Although Stanley, aka Star Child, and the members of KISS grew to become legendary figures in music after forming the rock band in 1973 — he realized success wasn’t the answer to his problems.
“I was fortunate enough to have success come to me and realize that didn’t change anything. So I was really blessed because, at that point in your life, it’s either a disappointment because it’s not a remedy and you either put a needle in your arm, a gun in your mouth or you live your life as a victim, and I’m not cut out for that,” Stanley explained.
“So, I decided that I would spend my life and my time on self-exploration and trying to make myself a better person and seeing where that was going to take me.”
“I was blessed to be a part of an idea to become the band we never saw and that led me on a course that I’m still on today — where it’s taking me God only knows,” Stanley said …
Back in 1982, Stanley underwent reconstructive surgery by Dr. Frederick Rueckert of New Hampshire, according to his memoir, Variety reported. Wait – Now Climate Change Causes Birth Defects?
Rueckert removed pieces of cartilage from Stanley’s rib cage and formed them into an ear … Read more.
Paul Stanley says a birth defect helped motivate him to become a star
By Gabrielle Sorto, Apr 22, 2019
CNN –Kiss guitarist Paul Stanley says he was drawn to fame because of a birth defect.
During a conversation with Dan Rather on The Big Interview, set to air April 23, Stanley said he pursued fame to compensate for his insecurities.
“I had what’s called a microtia, which is basically not having an ear,” he told Rather. “I wasn’t very socially adept, and when you have something physical that sets you apart from people, it makes you the target of unrelenting scrutiny and sometimes ridicule.”
Microtia is a birth defect of a baby’s ear that happens when the external ear is small and not formed properly, according to the CDC.
It usually affects how the ear looks, but not the ability to hear, though Stanley said he was born deaf on his left side.
Researchers have a hard time estimating how many babies in the US are affected since there are varying severities of the condition, according to the CDC, but recent birth defects tracking systems have estimated that microtia occurs about 5 in 10,000 live births. Read more.