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Songwriter Desmond Child credits KISS’ Paul Stanley with teaching him to write stadium anthems

Lester Cohen/Getty Images for ASCAP

Songwriter Desmond Child had a hand in co-writing some of the biggest stadium anthems and sing-alongs of our time, including Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ On A Prayer” and Aerosmith’s “Dude Looks Like A Lady.” But some of those may never have happened had it not been for KISS’ Paul Stanley

Child tells ABC Audio that Stanley was his “main mentor,” noting, “He taught me how to write stadium anthem songs the KISS way. … Songs had to be uplifting. The singer could never be a victim. They couldn’t be a loser. It was always about victory and success.” 

But while Stanley supported Child, KISS’ Gene Simmons didn’t feel the same way about him. Child co-wrote one of the band’s biggest hits, “I Was Made For Lovin’ You,” but he says Simmons was initially very resistant to the tune.

“I think that he appreciates my contribution to KISS now, but at that time that song was a kind of oddball,” Child says, noting Simmons thought the song sounded like dance music. And he wasn’t completely wrong.

“It was a dance beat with rock guitars, and it actually changed the course of pop music,” Child says, suggesting it paved the way for artists like Prince and Madonna to experiment with all types of sounds.  

“From that moment on, all things were possible,” he says. “I just think that that song was revolutionary.”   

You can read more tales of Child’s work with Bon Jovi, KISS, Aerosmith and more when his new memoir, Livin’ On A Prayer: Big Songs Big Life, comes out September 19. It is available for preorder now.

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