Five rock gods who decided to become American citizens

Not every musician you know was born in the United States, of course, but these five performers decided to become naturalized American citizens.
KISS End of the Road World Tour
KISS End of the Road World Tour / Kevin Mazur/GettyImages

July 4 is obviously an important day in the United States of America. It is Independence Day (though the country officially declared its independence from England on July 2 - I guess that was too close to when Canada Day would be). While most citizens were born in the US, of course, some chose to become members of the country.

The following five musicians were born elsewhere, and all moved to the US when they were young. Maybe at the time, they did not make the decision to come to America, but once they were adults, they decided they liked it enough to stick around. That is a good thing for music fans as well as the bands they would help form would change our lives.

Not included in the following list are musicians who are well-known to have been born in another country. Eddie and Alex Van Halen were born in the Netherlands, for instance. Both became citizens, just as Neil Peart did. The Rush drummer was born in Canada, of course.

Five musicians who decided to become naturalized American citizens


The guitarist from Guns 'N Roses was born Saul Hudson in London England. He has lived most of his life in the United States, however. His family moved to Los Angeles when he was only six years old. He became a citizen in 1996. He's been rockin' since 1981, however.

Gene Simmons

Simmons was born in Haifa, Israel and his family lived there until he was eight. He and his mother then moved to New York City where he would eventually meet Paul Stanley and the two would form the little-known power-pop group Kiss (yes, that last part is a joke). Simmons has been a citizen for decades but has said he still feels a bit like a foreigner.

David Byrne

Byrne was born in Scotland and actually holds citizenships in three different nations: The US, the UK, and Ireland. Just before he turned 10 years old, his family moved from Scotland to Maryland. He helped form the Talking Heads in late 1974. The 72-year-old Byrne did not become a citizen until 2012, though.

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Lita Ford

Ford is another Brit whose family moved to the United States when she was young. Ford has been a part of the SoCal music scene for so long, however, including being part of the Runaways with Joan Jett in the 1970s, that few ever knew she was not born in America. Many music fans might know her best from the song she released with Ozzy Osbourne, "Close My Eyes Forever."


Flea was born in Australia but when he was four years old his family moved to New York state. After his parents divorced, his father moved back to the land of Oz (not Ozzy Osbourne land, but Australia) and Flea went back and forth from his father to his mother. He eventually ended up in Los Angeles and found his way to becoming the bassist for the Red Hot Chili Peppers. He became a citizen in the 1990s.

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