On Friday, Kurt Cobain, the late lead singer and guitarist of the grunge band Nirvana, will be remembered by many in Seattle and across the world.
Cobain killed himself and his body was found by Seattle police April 8, 1994, in a living space above his garage at his home along Lake Washington Boulevard East and East Denny Blaine Place. He was dead for three days before an electrician working at the home initially found him.
Cobain was born in Aberdeen, about 109 miles away from Seattle.
Early in his life, he developed a relationship with music. A feature on HistoryLink.org by music historian Peter Blecha described how he liked to sing along to Beatles and Monkees records at the age of 2, even writing his first song at age 3.
On Cobain’s 14th birthday, he was given a used electric guitar and learned how to play songs like “Louie Louie,” and eventually would become obsessed with music, Blecha said. That obsession would lead Cobain to found his own band in 1987.
The following year, the band would make its debut in Seattle.
The rock group also went through several name changes before settling on Nirvana. Louder reported that Cobain said he “wanted a name that was kind of beautiful or nice and pretty instead of a mean, raunchy punk name like the Angry Samoans.”
After the band’s 1991 album, "Nevermind," the group became more widely known.
A Billboard writer who interviewed Nirvana on Aug. 16, 1991, described the band’s music as "the complete antithesis, raw, visceral and intense,” and went on to say that kind of music had “no term for it then,” but she liked it.
“Smells Like Teen Spirit” was one of the songs on "Nevermind" that millions connected with.
Rock magazines, along with other media and radio stations, pushed and publicized the album, quickly making the band successful, penetrating ears and hearts all over the world.
Their sound, defined as grunge, started from the Northwest's underground music culture and the independent record label Sub Pop, which signed groups like Nirvana, and helped to give the area a name to its rock music.
Over the years, leading up to Cobain’s death, Nirvana was featured at venues around the globe.
The last performance where fans saw Cobain was on March 1, 1994, in Munich, Germany.
Fans will tell you that they don’t want to remember his death, but how he made them feel.
Many people through the years have commemorated Cobain’s death anniversary and they have always reflected in a way that is personal.
“It was a formal culture that was given to me, something that actually felt real for once,” fan Ian Miles said of Nirvana’s legacy.
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