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Eric Singer

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Although drummer Eric Singer was a member of Kiss for only a few years, he was present for the band's important early-'90s refocused period, when the group set their sites on becoming a true heavy metal force once more. Born Eric Messinger on May 12, 1958 in Cleveland, OH, one of the first rock concerts Eric attended as a teenager was, strangely enough, Kiss (when they played Ohio on one of their very first tours with the New York Dolls) and began learning drums around this time. Quickly becoming a powerhouse rock drummer, Eric (who changed his last name to Singer), landed temporary positions with such hard-rocking notables as Lita Ford, Gary Moore, Black Sabbath, Badlands, Alice Cooper, and perhaps most importantly, as part of Paul Stanley's 1989 solo tour of the U.S. east coast. When longtime Kiss drummer Eric Carr was stricken with cancer in 1991 just as sessions were to begin for an album that would prove to be their heaviest in years, Stanley recommended Singer as a fill-in. But when Carr died later in the year, Singer found himself as Kiss' permanent drummer. 1992's Revenge is widely considered by many Kiss fans as one of their best, strongest, and most inspired releases in years -- on the strength of such tracks as "Unholy," "Domino," and "I Just Wanna" (which were all popular MTV Headbanger's Ball videos). In addition to Revenge, Singer appeared on a few other Kiss releases in the '90s -- Alive III, Unplugged, and Carnival of Souls: The Final Sessions, as well as the home videos X-Treme Close-Up and Konfidential. But by 1996, Singer found himself without a job when the original Kiss lineup (Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley, and Peter Criss) decided to reunite. Undeterred, Singer contributed his drum talents to a slew of tribute albums -- Rod Stewart (1997's Forever Mod), to Queen (Asia's 1997 Dragon Attack), Ace Frehley (1997's Return of the Comet), and Alice Cooper (1999's Humanary Stew). He also put together E.S.P. (Eric Singer Project), releasing Lost and Spaced in 1998, which was eventually re-released as a self-titled album a year later, featuring John Corabi on vocals and ex-Kiss bandmate Bruce Kulick on guitar (as well as an uncredited guest appearance by Ace Frehley). ~ Greg Prato

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