Former KISS drummer Peter Criss spoke to the Associated Press about the band's original manager, Bill Aucoin, who died Monday in Florida at the age of 66.

"He was the fifth KISS," said Criss, who had Aucoin serve as the best man at his second wedding. "If it wasn't for Bill, there would be no KISS."

"He was a genius," Criss added. "Anything you could do, he could do bigger."

Credited with discovering KISS, Aucoin managed the group for nearly a decade. He quit in 1982 citing creative and directional differences, but later worked with the band on various DVD projects.

Aucoin had re-entered the management business with his company, Aucoin Globe Entertainment, at the time of his death of surgical complications from prostate cancer.


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